RogerBW's Blog

City of Ruins, Kristine Kathryn Rusch 16 August 2020

2011 science fiction, second of the "Wreck Diving" series. "Boss" moves from exploring derelict spaceships to exploring underground ruins in the quest to find ancient stealth technology before the bad guys do.

I liked this rather better than I did the first book, perhaps because it doesn't set itself up to be about one thing then immediately shift to something else. Rumours of stealth-tech-like effects have brought Boss and her team to a world and city in the Empire's territory, and they have to avoid attracting attention there; at the same time they have to deal with a local government that's determined not to have its tourist trade compromised, and dead archaeologists would be quite bad for that. And then they find something rather bigger than they'd expected.

Without going into spoiler territory, there's a first contact situation hereā€¦ and everyone involved handles it like grown-ups. My word what a relief.

So there is another major change in direction in this story, but it's one that flows smoothly from what's already happened. And Boss is rather more interesting than before, being an effectively cautious leader rather than casually burning friends. As someone used to working in zero-g and vacuum, she's edgy about a whole separate set of things from what planet-dwellers worry about. Other characters are still fairly lacking: this is the nervous one, that's the argumentative one.

This really doesn't stand alone; not only will it not be at all clear what's going on if you haven't read the first book, it ends with more of a credit-roll than an actual conclusion. So if you liked Diving, I can certainly recommend this one.

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Previous in series: The Spires of Denon | Series: Diving Universe | Next in series: Boneyards

  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 02:41pm on 16 August 2020

    I love this series, and being who I am, I tend to overlook shortcomings for the reward of the unfolding bigger picture.

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