cover image Tracer


Rob Boffard. Orbit, $9.99 mass market (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-26527-0

Boffard's debut science fiction thriller delivers all the headlong excitement and unconvincing worldbuilding of a Hollywood SF blockbuster. After a planet-ruining nuclear war, the last humans eke out a painful existence on the Outer Earth space station. Twenty-year-old Riley Hale works as a tracer, free-running through gangs and rusted station infrastructure to deliver packages anywhere, any time. When she accidentally discovers that the package she's carrying is a freshly harvested human eyeball, she runs afoul of Oren Darnell, a ruthless man who's plotting to destroy Outer Earth and everyone on it. It's up to Riley, with help from the rest of her tracer crew and the trusty lab tech who loves her, to disrupt Oren's plan. Most of the characters, particularly the villains, never really rise above caricature, but Boffard stuffs the story with enough ambushes, narrow escapes, betrayals, and plot twists to keep thriller fans biting their nails. Readers who prize the rush of an action-packed plot will have fun with this. (July)