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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Star Nomad by Lindsay Buroker

From Goodreads:

They have her daughter. She will stop at nothing to get her back.

When system-wide civil war broke out, fighter pilot Captain Alisa Marchenko left her family and accepted a commission in the Alliance Army to battle the empire’s tyranny. Four years later, the empire has been toppled, but chaos and anarchy now rule the system. Alisa, after being injured in the final battle, is stranded on a dustball of a planet billions of miles from home. She learns that her husband died during the bombings, leaving their daughter on Perun, a planet that has become the last imperial stronghold.

Alisa must find a way to Perun, even if she has to steal a dilapidated ship from a junkyard overrun by murdering savages to do it. She’s ready for the challenge. She did not, however, count on finding an elite imperial cyborg soldier squatting in the ship and planning to use it for a mysterious mission of his own. Alisa can’t let him or anyone else stop her, or she'll never see her daughter again.

This was a fun read that I discovered through Kindle Unlimited. I actually had a few other titles by this author on my list, a few as kindle freebies, but not in the Sci-Fi genre, they were her fantasy novels. So this one was marketed for fans of Firefly and Star Wars, and while normally I don't like it when books try to ride the coat tails of bigger hugely successful things because I feel like they can't possibly live up, I could see the influence of both in this story. There is much wit and banter between characters, each having their own quirks, a la Firefly. And there is the grand setting of the aftermath of a big war which has the feel of the Empire and the Rebels, a la Star Wars.  But our characters here are not the top brass or the last Jedi, they are people caught in the crossfire, and believing they were fighting for the right side, but then coming to know each other and find out they are still all humans, with feelings, and honor, regardless of the side they started out on.  They are the ones who somehow got left behind now that the whole thing is over and have to figure out what to do next, how to get home, how to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. 

I enjoyed the characterization, and found myself imagining The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, as the Cyborg Soldier, every time the eyebrow quirk was mentioned, though he is much more outspoken and animated in his roles than the reserved Cyborg we here. By author admission the science part of the sci-fi is pretty general, but still sets the scene well.  I look forward to more in this series, and also sampling others by this author.  4/5 stars.

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