cover image Fault Lines

Fault Lines

Kelly Jennings. Candlemark & Gleam, $19.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-936460-83-0

In this fun, intrigue-laden space opera, a down-on-her-luck merchant captain accepts a mysterious young woman and her security escort as passengers and becomes embroiled in an attempted hostile takeover of one of the galaxy’s most powerful families. Instead of getting a hefty paycheck for an easy job, Capt. Velocity Wrachant of the Susan Calvin and her crew are betrayed, taken as hostages, and coerced into taking sides against an enemy with far greater firepower and financial resources. Their only hope of survival involves fighting dirty and praying they’ve backed the right person. Meanwhile, a secondary plot explains the sequence of events leading up to the present, allowing for a gradual series of revelations and twists. Jennings gives an intriguing glimpse of a much larger setting, hinting at a long-devastated Earth and humankind’s spread to the stars, but this initial offering remains tightly focused, almost claustrophobic, as it deals with high-level political and economic scheming. Fans of found family will love the portrayal of Velocity and her crew of scrappy underdogs, and there’s plenty of potential for further escapades. (June)