Drifters’ Alliance, by Elle Casey

Drifters Alliance, by Elle Casey book coverGenre:  Science Fiction
Publisher:  Amazon
Published: 2015
Reviewer Rating: four stars
Reviewer:  SJ Higbee

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I was looking for more space opera goodness, when I noticed this offering on my Kindle, courtesy of Himself, so I opened it up and dived in….

One hand of cards and it’s all over but the crying….

Cass Kennedy finally gets what she’s been dreaming of for the past ten years: a drifter ship to call her own. All the sim-time and battle training is going to pay off in spades as she sets her course for the future. She’ll be living on her own terms, not those of her father. But drifting through deep space with a crew of nutty strangers on the DS Anarchy carries a lot more surprises than she bargained for. Nobody told her that her ship is falling apart, that dead chickens are something you really want to hang on to, and that the OSG has big plans for the universe that don’t necessarily jibe with her plans for herself.

This book plunges straight into a card game with the highest stakes–a nineteen-year-old girl betting her virginity against a ship. I’m not giving too much away when I reveal that she wins. And thus starts this space opera adventure, full of action and excitement as Cass gets to grips with her unusual crew, the quirks of an elderly ship not in the best condition and a very angry ex-captain, intent on retrieving his ship.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Cass makes an engaging protagonist and whilst my eyebrows were initially raised at the idea of a nineteen-year-old having the sheer life experience and street smarts to be able to walk into such a post–Casey ensures we realize that her background uniquely qualifies her.

The first person narrative bounces along as Cass’s energetic, can-do personality drives the story forward–and that certainly chimes with her age. All too often, young protagonists are far too cagey and world-weary, more reflecting the experiences of their older, warier authors than the youngsters who they are supposed to portray. Not so in this case. While she has had a harsh, abusive childhood, Cass has the sheer bravado that comes with simply being young and hungry.

There is also a very scary major antagonist in the background, the more so as he doesn’t make an appearance in this book… but one of his underlings does. In amongst all the action and mayhem, there is also a generous dollop of humor. This isn’t a clench-jawed thriller–more of a rollicking adventure, full of incident and quirky characters. Which is not to say there aren’t some moments of high drama–the scene where they are attempting to extract ice to top up their water tanks under the noses of the overbearing intergalactic force, who have just slapped a tax on all water sources, crackles with tension.

All in all, this is a strong start to what promises to be an exciting, entertaining space opera series and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the next book, Drifters’ Alliance – Book 2.

SJ Higbee

 

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