As a general rule, I don’t buy full-price books at bookstores, and I especially don’t buy full-price books from authors/titles I have never heard anything about. Also, I don’t buy books in series that aren’t the first book. However, I love sci-fi books, I love women sci-fi authors, and I have a weakness for sea monster and underwater stories, so I broke all my rules and bought this brand new second-in-a-series underwater space book by an author I’d never heard of. And I’m so glad I did! I already ordered the first book from my local bookstore.
Fergus is a kind of mercenary/private eye/odd job doer, flitting through space wherever the jobs take him. He’s originally from Scotland, but left Earth as a teenager and hasn’t been back since. He’s created his own found family on the Shipyard, a space station full of quirky engineers and scientists (human and otherwise) who design and build ships. He’s suffering from some sort of PTSD from his encounters in the first book, but it wasn’t hard to follow even though I haven’t read that yet. He goes back to Earth to finally make amends with his family, but instead ends up beaten up and arrested by a cop who thinks he’s finally solved a cold case. Fergus and the detective end up having to rely on each other to solve their own separate crimes when it turns out that the crew of the Shipyard has been kidnapped. Several other prominent scientists have disappeared lately, and the trail seems to lead to an ice-encased moon, where an unlikely civilization has been carved out in the freezing oceans miles beneath the ice. Fergus has to use all his skills to try to solve the mystery, save his friends, thwart a plot, and set up book three (which comes out this month!).
This was just delightful all around. I liked that the detective sub-plot didn’t turn out as predictably as I thought it would, I enjoyed Fergus (and I think I will also enjoy learning more about the crew in the first book, but since they spend a lot of the book kidnapped, you don’t get to spend a ton of time with them), and the ice moon underwater setting was terrific. I would definitely watch that movie, and I will definitely seek out more Suzanne Palmer.