Title: The Rush’s Edge
Author: Ginger Smith
A bit about the author
Ginger teaches high school English, but has managed a book store and worked in a record store. She’s a gamer, with a collection of RPG books and sci fi novels, of course. She’s written fantasy, including her first book which – she claims – will never see the light of day. –from the author’s website
The book tagline
With the help of his commanding officer, a genetically engineered ex-soldier fights back against the government that created him and others like him to be expendable slaves…
The verdict: ⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐
The Rush’s Edge is a cool, fast-paced read, with a great leading cast, nasty enemies, and some great world-building. Life isn’t easy out on the Edge, an area of space on the fringes of civilization in a distant future. But Ty, ex-military and a nat (i.e., natural-born), and Hal, a vat (a genetically modified soldier), have a decent salvage business that keeps them in the black and out of trouble – most of the time.
Hal is by far and away my favorite of Smith’s characters. He is so well drawn – he leaps off the page. What he feels, the reader feels. The friendship between Ty and Hal is one of the highlights of this story for me. Most nats hate vats because they don’t understand them. Smith does a great job exploring the vat ‘culture’, showing how these soldiers have been exploited by the government. Hal had served under Ty in the military for a number of years. And Ty thinks of Hal as family, the only family he has left. Family that he is going to lose way too soon: Vats only live to about age 35 because their systems degrade.
Stepping into this mix is Vivi, a tech whom the guys rescue while waiting to meet a business contact. Remember that trouble they manage to avoid most of the time? Get ready for the ride.
Hal becomes quite protective of Vivi. The attraction and romance of these two is a nice addition/conflict in the story. I like a bit of romance in my SciFi!
Now… With this cast of characters and the backdrop of life on The Edge, this tale is ripe for a sequel. I would definitely be reading that.