I’m always a sucker for a cracking good space opera thriller – and the cover and the blurb had me looking forward to this offering. Would it deliver?
BLURB: Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova. Data connected to the Philosopher’s Stone experiments, into unlocking the secrets of immortality.
And he’s not the only one looking for the derelict ship. The Ministers, mysterious undying aliens that have ruled over humanity for centuries, want the data – as does The Republic, humanity’s last free government. And time is running out. In the bowels of the derelict ship, surrounded by horrors and dead men, Sean slowly uncovers the truth of what happened on the ship, in its final days… and the terrible secret it’s hiding.
REVIEW: I’ll be honest – when I finally got around to reading this one, I wasn’t really in the mood for a creepy deserted space ship, which I’ll own is my problem rather than anything wrong with the writing. So it’s a testament to the author’s skill that by the time I was a quarter of the way into this one, I was thoroughly hooked.
The reason why I found myself so wrapped up in this adventure is that I became thoroughly invested in Sean. The main protagonist is masterfully handled by Hunt. In the early stages of the book, I found him hard work. His ‘cheeky chappie’ façade started to wear thin very quickly – and by their reactions, I realised the other crew of Viper felt much the same way. But as the book wore on, I began to appreciate that Sean’s wisecracking, irreverent attitude hides a deep belief in the sanctity of life. And a strong sense that the dumb stroke of luck that allowed him to survive the massacre of his family, friends and neighbours has left him with a need to pass it on whenever he finds someone wanting help. Hunt does a really good job in conveying this belief without portraying Sean as some futuristic Pollyanna.
I also got thoroughly caught up in learning more about the two other characters Sean finds himself sharing his terrifying adventures with – initially, they both seem utterly horrible and extremely dangerous. In fact, they remain extremely dangerous throughout, which provides some interesting plot twists along the way. I’m aware that I’ve only really discussed the characters – but this is principally an action adventure novel, brimful of action set on a derelict space ship on the brink of catastrophic disaster. And it provides plenty of tension and nasty surprises along the way, which makes for an engrossing page-turner I found hard to put down.
A completely unexpected twist right at the end has me keen to read the next book in this series and it comes very highly recommended for fans of tension-filled space opera adventure with memorable, excellently portrayed characters. While I obtained an audiobook arc of The Immortality Thief from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
Sean does sound like an interesting character and I like books with good characterisation. Thank you for the review.
You’re welcome, Roberta:). I really enjoyed this one, particularly because the characterisation is so strong and adds a great deal to the ongoing action.
Aaahhh, I am excited for this one!
Delighted you’ve got hold of a copy:)). I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Wonderful review, Sarah. A great, well developed character can definitely add so much to a book. Glad this one turned around for you.
Thank you, Carla. And you’re absolutely right about the difference a really good character can make to a story:)).
I’m not sure how I missed this, it sounds like my kind of book. And I love that the book won you over even though you were leery about the subject matter😁
I think it’s your kind of book, too:) In fact, I wasn’t sure that I hadn’t scampered across to Netgalley on your recommendation – as I so often do!
When I saw this book showcased some time ago, something in it kept telling me “read me… read me…” and I added it to my TBR: now that I’ve read your review and learned that it won such high praise from you, despite the darkness at the core of the story, I know I was right in listening to that… little voice 😉
Thanks for sharing!
Ah… those little voices:)). They definitely shouldn’t be ignored – and I’m glad you didn’t, Maddalena.
This one is new to me, and even though I’m not really in the mood for a creepy deserted spaceship either, that 10/10 definitely has me tempted to check it out anyway.
You do need to pick your time – but because of the characterisation and rather chirpy persona of the protagonist, it’s nothing like as grim as it initially sounds…