I actually read A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe last autumn, but I’m catching up on book reviews.
It’s funny because after I bought the book, a friend came by and mentioned she also had it on her to-be-read shelf. Then I took it on a friends’ getaway, and one of the people on the trip also had it.
It was a great vacation read!
Science fiction + fantasy = awesome
I didn’t realize this book by Alex White was science fantasy when I bought it. So the fantastical elements were a surprise, but a good one.
I’m sure I’ve read science fantasy before, though it might not have been categorized as such. I recall one book that was reminiscent of epic fantasy except that the folks who peopled the story came to their world from another.
This book is different. It’s set in a futuristic world, and I really enjoyed the combination of a very scifi world with magical elements. In some ways it’s more reminiscent of Star Wars in that regard (which apparently is space fantasy).
Epic world building
As mentioned, I really enjoyed the magic system that was set up. It feels original to me as both a scifi and fantasy reader, and I’m looking forward to more.
The worlds mostly serve as a backdrop to the tale, but the setting that stands out is the Capricious, the ship that carries the ensemble cast on their adventures. It feels very real…”well-loved”.
The cast of characters and
Speaking of the cast, White’s character building is where the story really shines. It’s a hodge-podge group that ends up going on an epic quest, often reluctantly (as is the case with the best quest stories).
I found them unique and engaging. It was really their stories that drew me from page to page. I particularly enjoyed the character of Orna, and her mix of strong and broken and heart and I’m going to beat the sh…snot out of you. I have a fondness for broken characters though.
As I said, I’m sure I’ve read science fantasy before, but certainly I haven’t read one like this one. If you like character-driven, rip-roaring adventure tales, check it out.