Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date: September 2015
Publisher Description: Labor organizer Padma Mehta is on the edge of space and the edge of burnout. All she wants is to buy out a little rum distillery and retire, but she’s supposed to recruit 500 people to the Union before she can. She’s only thirty-three short. So when a small-time con artist tells her about forty people ready to tumble down the space elevator to break free from her old bosses, she checks it out — against her better judgment. It turns out, of course, it was all lies.
Review: The cover is hideous. I am so glad I took a chance on this novel despite the freakishly rendered cover art. The world building was fantastic and characters so well developed as to be defined by their short comings. Padma is gritty, stubborn and a bit slutty. She drives the novel hard, with constant movement through a world built on the byproducts of sugar cane. The societal structures that involve Freeborn and “Breaches” and the clashes that ensue with the corporate structures is entertaining in its complexity. The story line begins to become steeped in mystery, deceit and betrayal while being rendered with humor in all the right places.
“So, why you no give 5 stars?”. Padma, while a great character, gets a little tiring with her constant verbal “I am gonna kick your ass so hard you’ll shit bruises for a month..” routine that it became a bit redundant. Some scenes were not detailed enough to create the image in your head, especially the apparatus that elevates goods to be transported off world and the fight scenes that did not make logical/positional sense.
Despite my constant shjtpicking, I really am looking forward to this series and I am sure the writing will only get better.