I’ve just finished this book, having bumped it way up my TBR list based on a review I read on here a short while ago. On the surface, it’s an engaging story about a bunch of misfit species on a space ship that tunnels wormholes in space to help faster interstellar travel. Our erstwhile captain is given a lucrative contract to build a new tunnel near a new planet, which has been taken over by an extremely war-like species that somehow are now part of the greater space coalition. I’m a bit woolly on that bit to be honest, this book is very heavy on a lot of detail. Each species on the ship is given it’s own explanation and there are plenty of inter-species relationships, which are illegal but everyone turns a blind eye to.
There are also reference sections throughout the story which give a lot of detailed background on various events or more information on certain species and their habits/culture. I knew going into it that there was at least one other book set in this world and I think a lot of the detail that was added is to allow the story to continue. Although this book did not end on a cliffhanger. I did check out the next title and it’s set in the same world but with characters that appeared in this novel but were not the main characters.
On the face of it, this is a good space romp. However the underlying themes are inclusiveness and accepting each other’s differences. One of the narrative devices is to add a new character to the ship, a human girl, who is trying to escape her past by creating a false identity. She is worried that she will be found out and when she is, she is treated with love and acceptance and not shunned as she feared she would be. A lot of the crew conversations centered around explaining their differences from each other and the way they learned to accept and embrace these differences. Not a bad message at all for the world in 2019!