RogerBW's Blog

Six Lost Souls, R. E. Stearns 16 December 2023

2019 SF novella, placed in the Shieldrunner Pirates setting but not part of that series. Ku Nel-Aoki is the boss of level 2 of the Jane Jacobs residential module on Ceres. But the Syndicate she works for is not an easy employer.

All right, there isn't a whole lot to this. One of Ku's fellow level bosses messes up a job and gets the police all enthused, she's chosen by the overboss to sort out the problem, and she does. The police get in the way, and getting them off Ku's back now has to be balanced against the risk of more attention later. But there aren't really any false starts or unexpected divergences here.

There's an interesting idea that the Syndicate keeps its promises, even if they were made by idiots, and that's why people put up with it as much as they do. There's more about what sorts of crime can be profitable in this particular place. But there's not a lot of character, beyond Ku and her underlings, and even they are pretty thin.

Enjoyable, but slight. Not a good introduction to the setting, though if you've read any of the novels it's a pleasing extension of them.

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