Oh, I so wanted to love this book!
I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and I really was jonesing for some good science fiction. I had heard of the author Tade Thompson, and heard good things, but hadn’t gotten around to Rosewater (which is on my TBR pile). So when I saw a new book by him available as an eARC from Orbit on NetGalley I got excited. It sounded like it would be right up my alley - locked room murder mystery on a space ship! What fun! And the book started out very promisingly. We’re introduced to Shell, the young woman on her first voyage as captain. Then we meet Fin, the disgraced investigator trying to get his job back.
And from there, the book spirals out of control, like the ship falling out of orbit. It feels like the authority had a bunch of interesting ideas but no coherent way to put them together into one story. They don’t all feel like the belong to the same story. All of the characters are ciphers- none of them get any development and they all felt flat and samey.
Sometimes it feels like the author got 1/3 of the way into the book and didn’t know where it was going and threw in something new. Robot wolf! Evil AI! Political drama with earth! Vengeful exploited workers! Aliens who might be ghosts! It’s all too much and none of it works.
But I think the biggest problem is that it’s not a good mystery. There are no clues. There are no suspects. The author just puts in an extremely long infodump chapter 2/3 of the way through telling you who is the bad guy and why.
All that being said, I liked the writing style and I might try another book by Tade Thompson. But not right away.