Today’s team review is from Noelle.
Noelle blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com
Noelle has been reading Making Waves by Thorne Moore
I truly believe Thorne Moore could write a five star book about a paper bag. She has challenged herself by writing books in different genres and her readers (including myself) have found them all compelling. I did not read the first book in this series (Inside Out) but no matter, this book qualifies as a stand-alone. I chose it because I wanted to see how the author fared with science fiction, and she fares very well indeed.
The setting: Two hundred years into the future, human civilization has populated various moons and planets in what is collectively called the Outer Circle. Triton station, the Outer Circle headquarters of Ragnox, Inc., on the moon of Neptune, is as far as the intrepid can go unless exploring. Ragnox is the unassailable villainous corporation ruling over the territory with its psychopathic boss, Pascal. One of the activities he oversees, in addition to mining, uses so-called mutants, generations born in the Outer Circle of the solar system who have enhanced psychic abilities, as guinea pigs for horrendous scientific experimentation. The only challenges to Pascal’s ruthless pursuit of money and power are Pan, a rival, but less powerful, company and a dissident news organization called Ocean Waves, which makes public the excesses and evils of Ragnox.
The author manages to create the setting with a minimalist approach to its description. She does not spend a lot of time on the scientific details – the atmosphere for O2-breathing creatures, space suits, gravity establishment etc – but lets the reader imagine it from various names (leviathans and the Ark, for example).
The Characters: There are a lot of characters in this book, and I wish the list of them with their roles was placed at the beginning of the book rather than at the end. I became somewhat lost trying to sort them all out until I discovered the list, a problem for an e-book reader.
Tod Fox, captain of the freighter Heloise, delivers six foolhardy volunteers to Triton for seven years of servitude in return for a monetary windfall at the end of their service. Most volunteers don’t survive, so it’s a win-win for Ragnox. These volunteers get to know each other well during the long voyage out and form the nucleus of a family with Tod at its head. Among them is Yasmin Gwynn, who is delivered to Triton but then taken away. She becomes the head of Ocean Waves and a pain in the side of Pascal, who lives to find and eliminate her. The others are Smith, a communications wizard who becomes a member of Pascal’s star chamber and a threat to Pascal when he escapes; Clytemnestra, who rises through the ranks to run the Triton brothel; Merrit Burnand, who works as a medical assistant and sees all of the horror of Triton laboratories and forced labor; and Peter Seldon and Abigail Dieterman, engineers. All survive their servitude to become involved in the effort to bring Ragnox to its knees.
The characters are all really well developed, so the reader has no difficulty sorting them out. Their emotions are very real and the reader can easily form a strong connection with each of them. The dialogue is crisp and even occasionally humorous.
The plot: The book jumps from main character to main character (another reason for knowing who they are at the beginning, along with their supporting personae) and brings each one forward at a time. The plot is full of twists and turns, so the reader needs to pay attention. It’s complicated so I won’t give more away, but know that it is classical tale of good vs evil, of greed and lust for power and of the human desire for justice. And there’s even a super weapon, which makes the book a nail biter towards the end.
Thorne Moore is an exceptional writer. With this book she delivers, as usual, a real sense of place – even without a lot of detail – and her characters are compelling. Her plot is complicated and clever and keeps the reader engrossed in the story.
Highly recommended, and I am looking forward to the third book in the series and will go back to read the first!
Two hundred years in the future, with the Solar System in the hands of mega-corporations…
Tod Fox, commander of the Heloise, has delivered six rash volunteers to Triton, control centre of Ragnox Inc. But then he took one away again.
Now volunteers and crew face a new chapter in their lives, as human resources at the mercy of Ragnox Director, Jordan Pascal, or as allies of Pan, under Benedict Darke, the relentless enemy of the Triton regime.
Where will their allegiance lie? There is no middle ground in Arkadia. It is war. No mercy. Victory at any price.
Volume II of Salvage. Sequel to Inside Out.