Title: The Remnant Fleet
Author Name & Publisher: Geonn Cannon (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date: June 1, 2016
Humanity and its allies have survived a devastating war against a common, mysterious enemy. Now, on a space station called The Quay surrounded by the wreckage of destroyed ships, the disparate races have come together in a way many thought impossible.
Currently enjoying an extended period of peacetime, the crew of the Quay is put on high alert after a smugglers’ ship is attacked. A new and powerful enemy is searching for an incredibly valuable piece of space trash which could be used to construct something far more dangerous than a simple weapon: genetic material from the dawn of time, the key component to a device which can target and destroy specific races while leaving others untouched.
Fearful that they may be on the cusp of a new war deadlier than any ever fought, the Quay’s executive officer Bauwerji Crow must find and stop an enemy she knows nothing about, or else face the spectre of genocide on a galactic scale.
I almost feel like I should give this book a higher rating because I ended up enjoying it so much, but there’s a niggling little thing holding me back. I really did like the book. I love sci-fi and Cannon has created a diverse universe that is totally believable in the way that aliens interact with each other, along with all the prejudices and cultural misunderstandings that can occur between widely divergent peoples. We learn a little about each alien species, with the focus being on the few that take center stage because our main characters are of those people. And Cannon has created a rich culture for most, as well as explaining some about the mindset each has that forces them to react in a particular way to various events and other species. I think the problem for me is that the book seems almost dispassionate until we get to the endgame. Then finally, we get all the emotion we want at the end of the book.
It’s interesting to note that Humans are nowhere near the top of intergalactic politics. Most of the alien species are rather dismissive of anything Humans have to say about events. This is made extremely clear by our main character’s attitude toward the journalist from Earth who wants to break a big story. Bauwerji Crow doesn’t have much use for Humans in general, although the individual ones she knows have become dear to her. This seems to be an inevitable attitude, since it reflects a very human attitude toward those who are different due to superficial differences like skin color, country of origin, or religion. It’s almost disappointing to find out that aliens are no better than we are, yet it makes perfect sense at the same time.
The book was entertaining, and it definitely kept me interested and turning the pages. If this was the first book in a series, I would happily take a look at the next book.
Bauwerji is second in command on The Quay station and is a Balanquin. Her race has had a terrible time under the Karezza, a cruel sadistic race. Her life is not made easy as she has to work alongside one. Her lover is a human, Cicero, and they co-exist with several races on a permanent basis, with many others passing through. The strength of this story is the way the different races live together and have to deal with all of there differences. There are a few interesting ideas floating around regarding different types of aliens and once you get your head around the intricacies it is fascinating. The romantic relationships between different alien races were a bit different and some imagination had gone into making them quite unique.
The races have to pull together when a stone containing genetic material comes into Cicero’s possession. It has the potential to eradicate whole races and they all must decide what to do. Very difficult decisions have to be made and sometimes they go against what one believes. It must be kept out of the hands of an ancient race, the Wakerran, but will they be able to do that without becoming just as evil as they are?
This was a good read, with some interesting ideas.