RogerBW's Blog

Escape, Pippa DaCosta 04 May 2018

2015 science fiction short novel. Ship-owner Caleb Shepperd, pilot and spy Francesca, and the android Number 1001 continue to be badly messed up people dancing around each other, and only one of them has an excuse.

The first book worked reasonably well, because it was introducing the universe and the characters. This one doesn't need to do the former, and the new characters it introduces aren't terribly interesting. There's a certain amount of procedural space robbery and double dealing, and a lot of setup for future episodes, but this is nothing like a complete story.

At the end of the first book, our heroes were variously imprisoned or reporting back to their secret paymasters. At the end of this one it's not quite that bad, but all the emotional relationships have been flung about all over the place, to the point that the characters felt more like puppets of the author than people I could care about. It's not even a matter of lack of sympathy; I find it hard to believe in someone who is as determined to make every possible bad decision as Shepperd is shown to be here but who is still capable of putting his boots on in the morning, never mind flying a starship.

"She is afraid, and a liar."

"That she is." He sauntered forward, tossed the rifle against his shoulder, and stopped behind his flight chair. "Much like the rest of us."

Yeah, and that pretty much sums up the whole book, and indeed the series to date. No good guys, not even any not-particularly-bad-guys, lots of Aha, But You Did Not Realise My Plan moments. I can see how it might appeal, but this one really didn't work for me. Followed by Trapped.

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