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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

RevengerRevenger by Alastair Reynolds

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts and revenge.

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them.

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It's their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection--and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore's crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future--a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance...

Read for June's book group.

This started out engaging and interesting. A steampunk space opera, set in a far future universe, where Occupations have come and gone as civilizations rose and fell, and now Miners seek out "baubles", wait for them to open, and basically plunder what ever was left by those earlier occupations.

Two sisters embark on an adventure with the intent of signing on with a mining ship to help their father who is in financial ruin. They show aptitude as "Bone Reader's", the ability to listen to the ancient skulls on the ship and send and receive messages.

However, their father takes exception to their stealthy departure and demands their return. Before Captain Rackamore can bring them back, the ship is beset by the dread Bosa. Bosa slaughters half the crew and takes one sister to be her new Bone Reader. Fura, the second sister, hides, is eventually saved, and returned to the father.

Fura escapes a nefarious Doctor and her Father's attempt to sequester her. Joins a ship and with the help of Prozor, they plot revenge against Bosa and know how it ends. Really, you do.
This was not my first foray into the pages of Alastair Reynolds. I was expecting a space opera (which I got), but I was not expecting steampunk (surprise!). You will note I said this "This started out engaging and interesting..."  I managed to read about 2/3 of it, then I set it down and wandered away. Night before book group I realized I had a DNF and quickly skimmed the last 50 pages and confirmed what I suspected the ending would be.

This is, when all is read and done, a YA book. I'm not wild about YA and I really wish publishing houses would market their books accordingly. It must makes me annoyed when I am deceived.

  • The plot is predictable. Very, very predictable.
  • The main character was...not quite annoying, but not very interesting either. 
  • Some in our book group were notably disgusted with terms like "lungstuff" and demanded to know, why not just call it "air".
  • I DID like the ships. Those were kinda cool with the unfolding sails.
  • The baubles that open and close - neat concept.
  • Paladin. Best part of the story.
Recommended if you like YA, recommended for a YA.

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