Friday, May 14, 2021

Book Review: The Wrong Stars

book cover for The Wrong StarsA ragtag crew of humans and posthumans discover alien technology that could change the fate of humanity... or awaken an ancient evil and destroy all life in the galaxy.

The shady crew of the
White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials... and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

This was a fun read. Likable characters trading quips and jovial banter. There was action, but the peril didn't seem all that perilous in that the crew always seemed to have a workable solution at hand. Dare I say that it was almost too easy?

Pratt writes an all-inclusive character ensemble with regards to gender, but didn't make it the focus of the story. People just were who they were. With a monstrous evil alien race lurking about, no one gave a shit about what made their motor hum, if you catch my drift. While that works for me, if you're unsure, you'll be relieved to know that there were no details on "engine maintenance."

Having said that, the main romance in the story is a bit over the top. They were like two hormone addled teenagers. Actually, that might be an insult to teenagers. More like what TV execs think teenagers are like. Some of the conversations were just too cheezy. Plenty of eyeroll moments.

If you go into this looking for a beach read, you'll be fine. The science is light, and many things are handwaved away. It's best if you don't look too closely (It's about as far as you can get from Stoss, Reynolds, and Watts as you can get and still be sci-fi). The point is that it's a light-hearted, fun, sci-fi adventure with a cheezy romance.

3.5 stars.