Del Rey, out June 4
When Captain Ichabod Drift is forced into carrying an unknown cargo to Earth by a figure from his past, he knows things are likely to go wrong – but he has no idea just how much…
If you’re a fan of Firefly, or the Han Solo/Lando Calrissian style of Star Wars adventures, chances are you’re going to enjoy Mike Brooks’ fun space saga. Never taking itself too seriously, it throws the reader into a credible not too distant future, where a group of misfits work together for the most part to make their fortunes aboard the not so good ship Keiko but find themselves caught up in a quest for revenge.
The crew all have something to hide, none more so than their captain (it won’t surprise you to know that Ichabod isn’t the name he was born with!), and at some point or other through the story they all end up at each other’s throats, sometimes literally. They’re an engaging group though – from a Maori giant to a brother and sister engineer/pilot, and a young “slicer” (hacker to you or me) who’s thrown into situations well outside her comfort zone. There’s plenty of humour, both of the wisecrack variety (with a few pop culture references thrown in that even the majority of the protagonists don’t get), and in the situations, but you’re never left in any doubt about the peril that the Keiko crew – and indeed a lot of other people – are facing.
The book ends with plenty of scope for a sequel, and I hope that Brooks is preparing a second adventure for the crew – we’ve still got much to learn about them, and I can’t quite see them sitting pretty for too long!
Verdict: If you’re looking for a fun space opera adventure, then this fits the bill perfectly. 8/10