Release Date: March 28th, 2017
Format: Kindle version
My Rating: ★★★★
A humble laborer is caught in the tensions between Earth and Titan, the now-colonized moon of Saturn, in a standalone novel set in the universe of Titanborn (“Sci-fi noir at its finest!”—David Simpson, author of the Post-Human series).From Ice to Ashes is not necessarily a sequel, but a spin-off book to Rhett C. Bruno's novel Titanborn. While I did enjoy reading that book, I found that I liked this new book better. Titanborn is more about the people that work within the system, who work for "the man" or rather the corporation that is in charge of everything. In this novel we get to see the world through the eyes of an oppressed Ringer just trying to scrape by to survive and keep his sick mother alive. I think it was due to these reasons that I felt for Kale more than the characters in the other novel. I could see his position and why he did the things that he did in this novel.
Kale Drayton knows his place. As a Ringer born on Titan, he’s used to keeping his head down and his mouth shut—no matter how much the Earthers abuse him or his own kind berate him. So when he’s caught stealing from a wealthy merchant, he’s lucky to be sentenced to low-paying maintenance work on a gas-harvesting ship instead of life in a cell . . . or worse.
But when his mother is quarantined, Kale finds himself backed into a corner. To pay for her medicine, he needs money—the kind of money he’ll never make sweeping floors and cleaning ships. So when he receives a mysterious offer asking him to do a simple job in exchange for his mother’s treatment, Kale takes a chance once more. All he has to do is upload a program onto his employer’s ship and all of his problems will disappear.
What starts as a straightforward smuggling gig soon reveals its shattering repercussions. The people who hired Kale are more dangerous than he suspected—and he’s more important to them than he ever could have imagined.
What I liked about Kale was that he was just this dude trying to get by, until he gets caught up in a revolution by the Children of Titan. I kind of liked that in the beginning he is not on board at all, but later he comes to realize that he does need to take back his planet and fight for his people's right to live freely on Titan. I'm not sure I totally buy Kale's heritage in this story, because I did feel like he started to believe it way too quickly, but I don't know if anyone even truly believes that in the novel. I don't think it needs to be true, I think the resistance just needs to believe it so they have a leader they can trust.
The class division in this novel is so interesting and it was definitely something I wanted more of in the first book. I really like that we got to see how the Ringers live and how they are treated by the Earthers. Basically like garbage, which is so interesting to me, since the Ringers were there first you would think it would be the opposite. I also love the realistic science, in which the Ringers can get really sick because their immune systems are not accustomed to any sort of sickness (even the common cold) that Earther's might be carriers of.
What I like about this novel and the one before it, is that neither of the parties fighting each other are right. The Earthers are wrong to treat the Ringers so poorly, but the Ringers are also wrong to essentially become a terrorist group. Neither are in the right, but as a reader you have to decide which side of wrong you want to be on.
I think this story is complete without having read Titanborn. You could pickup it up and still understand it and what is happening in this world. The only exception to that is the Epilogue which might not make much sense to someone that didn't read that first book. To me that wasn't a real deal breaker. If you liked that other book, this is definitely a book for you to read.
*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Happy Reads Everyone!