Intriguing space opera with lots of twists and turns that I kicked myself for not anticipating sooner (tho to Gareth L Powell’s credit, there were so many red herrings that I was constantly second-guessing myself!) The writing is wonderfully descriptive, and I loved the concepts and definitely want to see where our ragtag group of heroes will go next. I wish I could say more about specifics but there are so many cool surprises from the get-go that it’s hard to talk about the plot without giving anything away.
What was kinda weird tho was that when it came to emotions, this was definitely a book more of moments than of arcs, and that was a pity. Our cast of characters is put through the wringer, but I didn’t really feel for anyone besides Ashton Childe and Trouble Dog, which seems like a missed opportunity. I especially wanted to feel more empathy with Captain Sal Konstanz, who is a great character, and I’m not sure why exactly it was so hard for me to do more than care for her objectively. None of her feelings were presented in a way that felt, to me, organic, as opposed to just something we’re told about. It was however really nice to read so many well-drawn characters who weren’t tied to gender roles. Trouble Dog especially is a terrific and refreshingly original character, with her mix of human and canine genetics and behaviors.
Anyway, a great entry into the sentient ship genre, and I’m looking forward to reading more. And while I’m looking forward to reading more of our crew, I am hoping we get to see more of the intriguing Laura Petrushka in the sequel too!
Oh yes, and Titan Press sent me this to review.