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.
This review is based on a eARC copy that the author graciously provided to me in exchange for a fair review. The scheduled official release of the book is for the 21st of June this year by the way.
Normally I am a bit hesitant when it comes to reading eARCs since they are sometimes a bit too unfinished and rough around the edges for my taste. This author however (I really do not know the guy apart from a few interactions on Goodreads) has surprised me by providing eARCs that are actually of better quality than some of the released works out there so I felt reasonably safe to jump into this particular eARC. The author did not disappoint this time either.
This is a quite good adventure story. A crime / thriller story set in a post-apocalyptic setting in our own solar system. If you are looking for a space opera with space ships travelling huge distances and armadas of space ships slugging it out then this book is not for you.
This book is about the characters, the interaction between them and the development of both the story and the characters. As far as the characters goes the author have created quite a few (very) interesting characters which compels you (me at least) to want to read the next page in order to get to know what happens, perhaps not so much as far as the story goes which is sometimes a wee bit predictable. Nothing wrong with that though, I rather have a wee bit predictable story than one that splatters the book with ludicrous twists in each chapter. However the main interest to me was rather the characters themselves and what they are about to do next.
I quite liked the main character as well as his, forced upon him, somewhat bizarre, sidekick. I think this relation was my main enjoyment of this book. It was really fun to read and the few pages where both of these colleagues/antagonists where not present felt that they were actually missing something. There are a few other characters as well which has a rather profound impact on the events but I will let you discover that for yourself in order not to spoil the book.
The book also delves into a few subjects like big corporations, class systems, life after the apocalypse etc. All of these subjects are threated quite well although, to me, whether it was intentional or not they were overshadowed by the actual crime plot and the character interaction. I am not complaining though since this is how I like it. These things provided a nice backdrop to the story but they did not overwhelm the “good stuff” in it.
Now we come my main gripe about this book. The ending. Those of you who have read my previous reviews knows that I am a bit particular about my endings. I am especially getting a wee bit upset about tragic endings. Now, as I have pointed out several times before I am not a professional reviewer so I allow myself to let my reviews be coloured by personal preferences. I also would like to point out that it is not at all a bad ending but a wee bit tragic one. I am especially, shall we say upset, about the ending since I had hoped that there would be a continuation of all the relations that was built up between the various characters and now I have some difficulty seeing how that could happen.
As with the books in The Circuit series this one is not the longest one around weighing in at 246 pages. What is there is good quality though and well worth reading. It is only personal bias/preference (the ending) that prevents me from giving it another star.