Revenger: Does It Get Better Than This?

A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts and revenge. 

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Amongst the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives. 

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them.

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It’s their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds which have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection–and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely-remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous. 

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore’s crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular. 

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future–a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism and of vengeance…

Every now and then a book comes along with great promise, plenty of potential, and more than a few things that just don’t fade away into that endless abyss where we keep useless information like the names of our neighbours or the last time we visited the dentist.

Revenger is definitely one of those books and the fact that it’s written by an author of exceptional penmanship and who is already established as an awesome space opera writer hits all the notes that much harder and gives the story, upon a closer look, more meaning than if you had spent that time with your first crush. I’ve already reviewed Slow Bullets (those who haven’t read that review yet don’t fret, that novella was in the same field as a Peter F. Hamilton or Stephen Baxter novel – in short: awesome) and in my personal opinion Revenger gave me nostalgia feelings that I simply couldn’t ignore.

It would have been criminal to do so.

Revenger effortlessly slips into the likings of great fandom novels such as Paul Stewart’s The Edge Chronicles, Anne MacAffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern series, and recently Rick Riordan’s The Heroes of Olympus books. I’m not mentioning these particular books because of their collective target audience, but rather the pure glee they elicit when you’re reading something by someone – oblivious of who the author is – and knowing, halfway through, that you’re in love with the story and its rich characters.

As a fan of comics and pirates, Revenger is a novel I’d easily read in traffic – even if I’m the one causing it – or on the train or at any social event I wouldn’t pretend to have an active interest in. The protagonist of the novel, Arafura Ness, is an ideal example of the literal meaning: dynamite comes in small packages. Yeah it’s a cheesy saying but hey, if the formula works then please sit back and let Reynolds captivate us with what a great wordsmith is capable of. Although Fura – as Arafura soon decides to be called – comes forth as bit of a spoilt and pampered brat easily swayed by the whims of her older sister, her dexterity and bravado in the face of irredeemable odds break through her delicate surface as she shows through sheer will what extent she’ll go through to save Adrana…

…and damn, remind Captain Hook not to piss this little lady off.

The world Reynolds had created – I can’t say whether it’s similar to his Revelation Space series since I’m still bound to read it yet – is immersed in ancient civilizations which are, as far as we know, extinct, and individuals such as Fura and her sister Adrana, what with them being teenagers and on the cusp of being young adolescents, have the innate ability of communicating with the skulls of long-dead aliens through telepathy with others (called Bone Readers) aboard the various space-faring ships in the Congregation. True to the lore, there happens to be only one space pirate intent on staying true to her roots and this comes in the form of the utterly ruthless Bosa Sennen; whilst a great majority of the pirates are intent on raiding baubles or desolate worlds, Bosa has her sights focused on anyone with even a glimmer of promise or competition.

If you’ve stuck with me till now through all my reviews then you know I’m not one to mention any possible spoilers – hopefully I’m still doing a good job at that. For any of my readers familiar with the Dishonour game franchise and who love it when characters grow through not only mental capabilities but also physically, this is something you’d really want to treat yourself with. Don’t read Revenger because you’re waiting for James S.A. Corey to bring out another book or for Kameron Hurley to surprise you with a sudden sequel to her The Stars Are Legion novel – read Revenger because it’s awesome and you’ll definitely have an urge to go watch  Treasure Planet or whatever else sneaks its way into your grey. 


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