The other day, someone pointed out a blog post written by Sarah Hoyt on the IPG / Amazon conflict, and as I started reading I immediately thought to myself: “Who IS this?” And I immediately started looking for her books.
Darkship Thieves is exactly what the blurb says – Heinlein-esque pulpy goodness. The story involves a smart, strong, savvy, courageous young woman – Athena Hera Sinestra, daughter of one of the Good Men that rule the future Earth. She’s a rebellious teenager with a capital “T”, terrorizing the administrators of various schools, correctional institutions and even hospitals at various times in her young life. But we get most of that in backstory. When the story begins, she’s been visiting an orbiting space station with her Daddy, and she wakes up in her cabin aboard the ship with someone about to stick a hypo of tranquilizers into her.
Within a matter of pages, she’s running for her life from men who’ve done who knows what to her father, escaped, been pursued, and eventually finds herself aboard a “darkship” – one of a shadowy fleet that robs power-generating orbital stations to provide power to their hidden base. Can she get home to Earth? After coming to care for the man who rescued her, does she even want to? And how did those men convince her Father to help them try to recapture her?
It’s chock-full of action, and lives up to the first rule of writing good fiction – don’t be boring. And while there are a few points where the author stops to talk philosophy and economics (I did say Heinlein-esque, right?), fans of classic adventure science fiction will be well served to pick up their own copy of Darkship Thieves. The revelation of just what that guy was doing in her room to kick off the adventure was something that I’d immediately thought of then dismissed, so I don’t know whether to call that predictable or not. As it was, either way, the resolution of how that all played out was exciting and leads to a rather final resolution for the ultimate bad guy.
I’d give Darkship Thieves 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re a fan of classic pulp SF action-adventure, or if you like strong female leads, give it a try.
You can pick up your own copy at Baen’s e-book store for $6.00 even, or find it wherever good books are sold.