Release Date: June 21st, 2016
Format: Kindle version, 246 pages
My Rating: ★★★★
In this gritty and innovative science-fiction thriller in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming.It took me a little while to get into this book, and I think that maybe it was because of the voice. I had a little trouble seeing things through Mal's eyes, and I think maybe the story would have been better had it been written in third person. Once I got past the initial world building and started to understand what type of character Mal was, I was able to get into this story.
Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders.
But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth.
Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he’s learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal.
Mal actually reminded me of Geralt of Rivia a little. I think mostly because they both don't really have feelings and they just care about getting a job done so they can get a nice payout. It wasn't until I found out that he had a daughter and had a lot of guilt about what happened to her that I started to sympathize with him. I felt like there was a lot of exposition about his daughter and I couldn't figure out why we cared about her so much. This does come up later in the novel, so definitely stick with the book to figure why you should care so much about this phantom girl.
The plot of the novel is that Mal is forced to work with a partner for the corporation he works for, and there's a lot of hesitation on his part because Zhaff is a little strange. I ended up really liking the dynamic these two developed, and I think the character development for both of them was really great. You get to learn a little more about Zhaff and why he is almost Vulcan-like in his belief of logic only method. I really liked how they two worked together on this mission, and I wanted to see them work more cases together. I think their two wildly different methods complimented each other and they were a good team.
One thing that I really appreciated in this book was how realistic the sci-fi elements were. In a lot of sci-fi I feel like we don't get a real feel for the actual science of how you can travel to different planets. Other books will describe a hop, skip and a jump to different planets, but this book explained that the trip to Titanborn will take months, and they have to be in a chamber pod for the duration of the trip. I thought this was really interesting and made the setting more believable to me.
I would definitely recommend this for sci-fi fans. I felt like this book had a very "Mass Effect" feel to it, so if you like those video games I think this book is for you.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Reads Everyone!