I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t usually read books that involve space travel. I gave an exception when it came to Red Rising and since then, I’ve been trying to read more books with these topics. This novel has been compared to Red Rising, and since I enjoyed that, I was hoping to enjoy this one.
Kale Drayton is a Ringer born on Titan, where he works for the Earthers who abuse him and berate other Ringers. When he’s caught stealing from a wealthy merchant, he is sentenced to low-paying maintenance work on a gas-harvesting ship. Kale thinks he’s pretty lucky; he could have ended up doing time in a cell … or worse. But when his mother is quarantined, Kale sees no choice but to start thieving again in order to pay for her medicine. So when he receives a mysterious message asking him to do a simple task in exchange for medical care for his mother, Kale takes it right away. It’s a simple enough task: all he has to do is upload a program onto his employer’s ship. But this simple job soon reveals deadly repercussions. The people who hired him are more dangerous than he could ever have imagined – and they’re not done with him yet.
At the time when I read this novel, I was unaware that there had been a prequel to it. That being said, most of the story made sense even without having read Titanborn, the first novel set in this world. I would probably recommend that others read the first novel before reading this one, however, as I’m sure it would set the stage up better for this story. I found that nothing was really fleshed out very well in this story; again, this might be because I read this as a standalone rather than as a sequel. There was definitely a lot of action and the plot moved along quite quickly. The problem with that, however, was that it made the characters appear more one-dimensional; when the action happens quickly and the characters don’t get the time to develop and show depth, then it makes them appear weak. I liked the overall story as it greatly resembled Red Rising. However, this should not be read as a standalone as that would make the story quite confusing. I hope that the publishers will brand this as a sequel when it is released as that would be very helpful to readers!