Ciel Pieriot. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-85766-966-7
Pieriot’s action-packed but by-the-numbers sci-fi debut plainly collages Star Wars, Firefly, and Mass Effect with a queer twist—but remains too slight to stand out. Three years ago, weapons developer Rig burned a city to stop Pyrite, the faction that indentured her, from using her research in a genocide against her own race. Now one of the Nightbirds, refugee-rescuers and saboteurs against the three ancient, constantly warring factions, she has her own ship, Bluebird, and a librarian lover, June, who hails from the spiritual Ascetic faction. But when Pyrite abducts the twin sister Rig left behind, Rig and Ginka, a mysterious operative from Ossuary, the megalomaniacal third faction, work together to rescue her. This quest leads them through glittering ballrooms and secret space stations, but everybody wants Rig’s weaponry, and only her tenuous cross-faction alliances will get her out alive. Polished prose keeps the numerous battle scenes and side quests moving, but endless Whedonesque banter leaves most characters indistinguishable. Meanwhile, attempts to tackle more serious refugee issues are mishandled. Firefly devotees may appreciate this well-crafted but lightweight homage, but others can skip it. Agent: Lauren Spieller, TriadaUS (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 09/30/2021
Release date: 02/08/2022
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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