I would highlight this book as an Avengers meets the Expendables meets the legend of the Amazonians, in a no-holds-bar explosion celebrating female strength and conviction.
This book was such a surprise. Not only did it have a diverse cast of completely different and equally incredible women, it also conveyed the struggles of deep emotional pain and the pressure of psychological trauma and loss. It can be quite easy to ignore the emotional nuances with action-filled novels, but I Am Justice does not disappoint in this regard. More so, the emotional pain gives credence to character strength and conviction to act and do better for themselves or for the women of the world. I am Justice is an excellent, fiery and feisty novel that marks the beginning of a brand new series called ‘Band of Sisters’ teeming with courageous female protagonists that will no doubt, be as fast-paced, thrilling and romantic as I am Justice.
The novel itself is set in contemporary 21st century, with the main protagonist, Justice Parish, an adopted daughter of the extraordinarily wealth Parish family. To the outside world, she is the formidable and snarky PR executive for the Parish’s Mantua Academy for Girls and Parish Industries, but she, alongside her mother Mukta Parish the matriarch of the Parish family, and her adopted siblings, work to rid the world of human and sex traffickers, as a female-led “secret society of vigilantes” (p. 19), the ‘League of Warrior Women’. I enjoyed reading Justice’s character, in the beginning, she is so wrought with pain and trauma and a righteous-fuelled anger, that to kill the men responsible for her sister, Hope’s, death, she will then be free of her suffering. However, the reader witness extreme character development, where Justice begins to understand that there is more to her life than anger and death. In the midst of the swashbuckling action, there is a trembling sense of overwhelming emotion that comes with crippling trauma. The beauty of Justice is that she then uses her trauma to fight harder and realise her life is worth more.
Through the actions of her mother Mukta and Leland Day, the Parish Industries’ Cheif of Security, Justice then meets Sandesh Julian Ross, a mouth-watering ex-Special Forces soldier who founded an organisation called the ‘International Peace Team’ who only employes ex-soldiers to give aid to victims of war and disaster through partnering with international peace organisations around the world, in this case, Selma’s Gems on the Syrian-Jordan border in the Middle East. In order to kill the two brothers, Walid and Aamir of the Brothers Grim, head of a sex trafficking ring, Justice will need to go undercover without Sandesh knowing, and fulfil the requirements of her mission. Adding in a major subplot concerned with a traitor in the League, and a beautiful romance between Sandesh and Justice, the overall storyline of the novel is well-written and thrilling. Although there were some aspects of how the use of the hijab, abaya and niqab were used in this book came across sometimes as a ‘costume’ for the non-Muslim woman to wear for her undercover op, it was a small aspect and a tiny moment in the overall book.
I enjoy strong female protagonists, I think we need more strong women in books, and I Am Justice does not disappoint in this regard. It is a cacophony of independent, intelligent, strong and brave women – a true testament and celebration of female strength.
Until next time! Happy reading!
NOTE: I was able to receive a free copy of this ARC thanks to NetGalley, for a balanced and honest review.