Title: Darkship Thieves
Author: Sarah A. Hoyt
Genre: Space Opera
Paperback: 384 pages
Copy: bought it myself
Reviewer: Ove Jansson
Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don’t ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father’s space cruiser, knowing that there was a stranger in her room. In a short time, after taking out the stranger—who turned out to be one of her father’s bodyguards up to no good, she was hurtling away from the ship in a lifeboat to get help. But what she got instead would be the adventure of a lifetime—if she managed to survive. . . .For being the daughter of a seacity ruler Athena Hera Sinistra, our protagonist picked up an amazing skill set while going rampage through military schools, instructors, reformatories, madhouses and ballet school.
It helps a lot when she wakes up with an unknown man leaning over her aboard her father's space cruiser. She succeeds in subduing him and flees the ship half naked in an escape pod. In a desperate attempt to escape her pursuers she heads into the dangerous power-tree forest and crashes into a dark ship. She is rescued by the pilot.
She have run into the Darkship Thieves of legend.
This is a really mesmerizing book, I started reading and after a few pages I was in the world Sarah A. Hoyt created experiencing it from the slightly disturbed mind of a captivating young woman. Athena Hera Sinistra is as much a handful as her name, but it is a handful easy to love as a reader.
The book reminds me of old Space Opera classics like the Skylark series but with much better characterization and world building.
24th century Earth has outlawed all bio-engineering since the revolt against the super engineered sterile Mules that ruled humanity. All Mules and their bio-engineered servants where killed but legend has it a few escaped in a spaceship. Earth civilization is centered around the seacities, each ruled by a Good Man with dictatorial powers, and Daddy Dearest is one of them.
The Darkship Thieves home, Eden is quite different but I won't ruin the surprise for you.
At the core of the story is the morality of bio-engineering and cloning humans.
I first learned about Sarah A. Hoyt from The Big Idea article about Darkship Thieves on John Scalzi's blog Whatever and found it quite entertaining that the Big Idea started with Sarah being annoyed. But it wasn't until I read a rant Blame It on the Girls on Darwin's evolutions I started to suspect I found a new favorite author. And I was right. Now I can't wait to read more by Sarah and any sequel to Darkship Thieves would be on the top of my list.
I love Darkship Thieves and Athena the strong heroine, you will too.
Other blog reviews of Darkship Thieves:
- by Ella Drake 13 things she enjoyed with Darkship Thieves