In a universe where Old Earth is a distant memory and mankind has colonized numerous other planets, Edie has a unique gift: her skills are integral to the terraforming of newly discovered (or conquered) planets to make them inhabitable for humans. So when Edie is kidnapped by the crew of a rogue spacecraft, she knows immediately that they want to utilize her special talents for their own ends. To make sure she complies, they’ve assigned her a bodyguard: Finn is a lower-class former soldier whose job is to guard Edie’s life at all costs, and his brain will literally explode if she dies. Bound by a common desire to escape captivity, Edie and Finn must formulate a plan while trying not to run afoul of either their captors or the all-powerful corporation that runs the universe.
I don’t normally read much science fiction, but I’m trying to branch out, and this book seems ideal for someone like me: while there’s plenty of scientific-sounding jargon in the novel, at bottom it’s a very character-driven story. Edie is a typical heroine in many ways – tough, smart, scarred by her past – but I really liked that her strength was in her intelligence rather than physical prowess. The novel judiciously uses flashbacks to reveal Edie’s past in a way that gradually makes sense of the present. I also enjoyed Finn’s character, but I’d like to know even more about him and the development of his relationship with Edie. Good thing there’s a sequel! Overall, this book was a real page-turner, though not particularly cutting-edge for its genre, and I look forward to reading Children of Scarabaeus.