cover image The Rush’s Edge

The Rush’s Edge

Ginger M. Smith. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-864-6

Found family takes center stage in Smith’s gripping debut. Captain Ty Bernon is a “nat,” born naturally, while his one-time subordinate turned close friend Hal Cullen is a “vat,” a lab-created soldier with superior combat skills cut loose after seven years in military service and designed to die by 30. Their adventures kick off when Hal, an unstable but good-hearted adrenaline junkie, rescues techie Vivi Valjean from an attempted abduction and recruits her to the crew of the salvage ship Loshad, where medic Beryl McCabe patches her up. The four crewmates form a tightly bound group—and soon come face-to-face with a series of enemies: a vat assassin, a military ship, and an artificial intelligence named Eira that takes a keen interest in them. Along the way, they stumble upon some surprising allies and uncover a conspiracy that threatens all the vats. Smith masterfully cultivates a deep sense of camaraderie among the characters while keeping them on the edge of danger. The unlikely bonds linking the crew members and thoughtful exploration of the morality of genetic engineering are sure to draw readers into this well-crafted space opera. (Nov.)