March 30th, 2020 by Jane Turner
Today’s book review, Salvage Trouble by J.S. Morin. This one is a short one – 140pp – so didn’t take me long to read.
The premise is good – a motley crew just trying to stay flying, taking jobs and earning money where they can. Take two cups of Joss Whedon’s Firefly (which I love!) and a cup of Lindsay Buroker (who I also love). A dash of Star Trek, a smidgen of Star Wars and perhaps a little Douglas Adams (depending on preference). Ships that have to have a magician aboard to launch into ‘astral’ – which I’m assuming is a derivative of hyperspace. It should be fantastic – but it just wasn’t.
And I’m not sure where it fell flat, but I can confirm it’s a bit messy. (Could do with a good developmental edit – I can recommend someone?)
The characters are interesting, though a little backstory on each would be useful. (Perhaps Capt Carl doing a little montage?) The aliens are creative. The ship is definitely based on Serenity, with a lot of the action happening in the cargo hold.
The plot, to me, was a little confusing. It starts well enough, a salvage mission on a derelict discovers a trapped escape pod containing a couple of survivors. And that’s where things go awry.
The story isn’t fleshed out enough, or assumes that the reader knows the backstory – I got to the end not really knowing who the hell this Doctor was and why he was such a bastard.
This is the first of a series of 16 (?!?), and maybe they get better with practice. The characters are engaging, particularly Mort the wizard, but it’s never quite explained HOW ships came to be considered magic, why Carl left the Navy, what IS the equivalent of the Federation?
Not sure at this point if I’ll keep reading – it might be worth giving number two a go and see if the author settles in.
All in all – a confusing and unsatisfying read. And, for 140 pages, quite pricey on Amazon. I got my copy for free from the author’s website – so do your googling.