The problem with a book being Book 0 is that you know it’s all setting you up for something. It’s a prologue! Prologues don’t tend to end on “and then everything was great and there was no major conflict left, they all lived happily ever after.”
Which was pretty rough, because I absolutely loved this book and the characters. This feels like the love-child of my favorite parts of Star Trek and FTL. From the former, you’ve got a cast who are all very smart people that are passionate about what they’re doing; that sense of exploration, of a great big galaxy in which there’s trillions of people living their lives, and this group in particular is doing their best to make it a better place for all of them. And from the latter, that feeling of building up, starting with a Default Starship and then customizing it into a lean, mean, fighting machine.1 And, as the plot goes on, the feeling that even after all the upgrades you’ve put into it, there’s still always a bigger bad out there — you remain the scrappy underdog, punching above their weight class, trying to fight the evil hypercorporation.
This is a really fun universe to play around in, is the thought I kept having. I want to see more of it, I want to see where else the characters go to explore. It’s book 0, and I think right now there’s something like 9 more, and I’m hooked; at some point, once I finish reading through my whole gigantic backlog, I’m gonna have to pick up at least Book 1 and see how it is.2
All in all, I loved this book; my biggest complaint is that it was setting me up for the rest of the series, and if the series turns out to be this good, that’s a pretty nice problem to have. Give it a go.3
- The fact that the hull is made of “ergranian steel,” which has the never-really-explained property of being able to regenerate when charged with energy from the reactor, adds to that videogame-y feeling – you can heal up in between fights! All it takes is energy, which you have a limitless free supply of courtesy of “the reactors” and some big collecting scoops on the front of the ship that gather space dust. ↩
- The transition from Prologue to Main Story feels like it’s gonna be something on the other side, and that’s about all I’m gonna say to avoid spoilers. ↩
- This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores. ↩