My review of Cherry Pickers: On the women's penal colony of Sisyphus, 17 year old Nikki has a one-track mind and that is to get her gun licence to impress her mother. The only way to do this is to lure a man from a passing space ship, to pick her cherry. Not quite a romantic coming of age, but a promising synopsis for a speculative fiction novel. Being a penal colony, it's a kill-or-be-killed world, in which having just a machete is really not conducive to survival.
The most enjoyable character for me was Sam, the spider who lives with Nikki, kinda like an eight-legged creepy-looking brother type. Sam is actually really sweet, loyal and noble. He is the only person who is nice to Nikki in the whole story. Unfortunately his future is pretty bleak, with him likely to be mated and eaten in the near future.
The story begins with Nikki searching the house for the book of Grimms, the only book on the entire planet. I didn't really get hooked in by this beginning and ended up having to re-read the first chapter to take in all the alien world-building. There is plenty of information at the start as Milani draws you into her world. Once I got into the story, I found it well-paced and enjoyable. Other interesting concepts included the click speech of the house bugs and the chron implant, which was mentioned briefly. There is action aplenty and a few surprises to keep you guessing. I did find it a little tricky to figure out who was a human and who was a spider, as the personalities seem rather similar. On the whole, I enjoyed Cherry Pickers and would recommend it to new adult readers.
I bought this book on Amazon and this is my honest opinion of the novel.