Tuesday 26 June 2018

Shattermoon - Dominic Dulley

An inexperienced grifter. An obsolete spaceship. And against them, the might of the Grand Fleet. Orry might just be in over her head.

Orry's father is the best conman in the quadrant, targeting the decadent ruling families of the Ascendancy, running elaborate heists with Orry and her brother Ethan before disappearing without a trace. This time should be no different.

But then Orry goes off-script and everything falls apart. Less than an hour later the Count's spoiled grandson is dead and Orry's on the run, accused of a murder she didn't commit.

Turns out, the pendant Orry stole was crafted by the Departed, the ancient civilisation who left this universe aeons ago, taking most of their secrets with them. But she's not the only one who wants it. It doesn't take ruthless space pirate Morven Dyas long to track her down, or to threaten her with her worst fear, and when she's unexpectedly rescued by loner Jurgen Mender and his ageing spaceship, the Dainty Jane, Orry knows there's only one thing left to do.

It will take all of Orry's powers of persuasion to get Mender to agree to her plan, especially when even she can see the madness of pitting an inexperienced young grifter, a space-dog long past his best and an obsolete spaceship against the Imperial Fleet, the worst of the space-pirates - and the alien Kadiran, who are getting bored with the long, uneasy truce with humankind...

Whilst taking part in a heist set up by her father Orry's life is changed forever and takes a turn she could not have envisaged even mere hours earlier. Rescued from space by a grizzly old traveller, Mender, conveniently nearby when she's jettisoned from her own ship, Orry teams up with him and his sentient ship in a race against time to rescue her brother and to save the universe!

The adventure starts on page one and doesn't let up until the very last word. Dominic Dulley has created a wonderfully written space opera that reads part SF, part thriller with an amazing cast of characters. There are talking ships, a truly believable sibling relationship between Orry and her brother Ethan, an aristocrat with a taste for adventure, some very unpleasant aliens and a truly nasty (female) crime boss. The fantastic worldbuilding allows you to picture Orry's world vividly and it was a huge part of the reading experience to picture all the different planets they travelled to, including the Shattermoon itself.

Shattermoon is a fast paced read from start to finish, a total page turner, which I read almost in one go and mostly in hospital unable to sleep but the adventure was completely worth it! If you're a fan of female-led SF with a healthy dose of humour, a mere hint of romance, and one of the best space ships since Serenity then make sure you pick up Shattermoon. I'm now starting the long wait for book two of The Long Game but if Dominic is at this year's BristolCon I'll be quite happy to pester him for details...

Huge thanks to Olivia and  Jo Fletcher Books for a copy of Shattermoon and the chance to take part in the blog tour. For more reviews and other interesting snippets don't forget to check out the rest of the tour!

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