cover image Salvaged


Madeleine Roux. Ace, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-451-49183-1

This taut thriller/mystery from Roux, best known for YA horror (House of Furies, etc.), pits a girl on the run from her past against a parasitic monster named Mother. In a spacefaring future, Rosalyn Devar is a xenobiologist who takes a job as a salvager—janitor of dead space crews—to get away from her father, his business, and the man who hurt her. When caught drinking on the job, she’s given one more chance: clean up the Brigantine, a research ship whose crew is dead. But they aren’t. Aboard the Brigantine, she meets Edison Aries, the captain, and his undead crew. They are infected with a mysterious fungus, Foxfire, that has taken root in their minds, convincing them that it is their mother and that Rosalyn needs to join them. Stranded aboard the Brigantine, Rosalyn and Edison try to outwit the other crew members and Mother, while looking for a way to stop Foxfire from spreading and wondering whether her father’s business is behind Foxfire and other horrors. Scenes of violence are gory but not gratuitous, and Roux will leave readers wondering whether the real source of evil is in human minds and hearts. This entertaining, deeply disturbing, and clever story hits all the right notes for those who like a little horror with their SF. Agent: Kate McKean, Howard Morhaim Literary. (Oct.)