I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Angry Robot on November 10, 2020
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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.
Halvor Cullen, a genetically-engineered and technology implanted ex-solider, doesn’t see himself as a hero. After getting out of the service, all he’s interested in is chasing the adrenaline rush that his body was designed to crave. Hal knows he won’t live long anyway; vat soldiers like him are designed to die early or will burnt out from relentlessly seeking the rush. His best friend and former CO, Tyce, is determined not to let that happen and distracts him by work salvaging crashed ships in the Edge. But after a new crewmember—hacker-turned-tecker, Vivi—joins their band of misfits, they find a sphere that downloads an alien presence into their ship…
I’ve always found it difficult to review debut novels due to their very nature. A debut novel is the first glimpse we have of a new author in what is – usually – an unpolished work. I find it incredibly difficult to review any book because it takes skill and patience that I will never hope to achieve in my life time. Authors pour their heart and soul into each work, and while reading is an entirely subjective activity, when it comes to reviewing, the reader is judging a work of personal art.
Reading The Rush’s Edge, I was reminded why debuts are often regarded as either an author’s greatest work or the initiation of the cultivation of a writer’s skill. I enjoyed The Rush’s Edge, but it was evident this was the author’s first published novel and might have required a bit more editing before release – that said, while the character development was rough around the edges; the story at the core was interesting, complex and inspiring enough that continuing with the series is worth the time.
In a universe many years after humans went to war with an alien race, a group of salvagers travel back and forth from the Edge, a section of space where wrecks of that war rest. Hal and Tyce make a decent living running salvage jobs and the occasional black market deal. Plus, it keeps Tyce, a genetically altered and vat grown super soldier, from getting into trouble. On a meet to obtain coordinates for a new, and potentially lucrative salvage job, Hal and Tyce rescue a young woman. Drugged and almost kidnapped by two assailants, Vivian decides to temporarily join Hal and Tyce’s crew. The crew is plunged into a mystery that spans the galaxy and unveil dark secrets that will destroy the world they know. Unable to discern who to trust, the only people in the entire universe they can trust is each other and only they can decide which side of the upcoming war they will join before it’s too late.
As a debut novel, The Rush’s Edge delivers a tantalizing peek at an author who is very talented and I can see becoming popular in the romance market with some experience. The majority of my issues with The Rush’s Edge were directly linked to character reactions to stressful situations. Eg: Vivian just accepting she was being kidnapped into outer space by literal strangers after being drugged – two male strangers. Is stranger danger not a thing in the future?
When I read the synopsis for The Rush’s Edge, I was given the impression of a story filled action and intrigue in space with a spice of romance to added for extra flavour, but the actual events of the novel in the beginning were tepid, some of the characters backstories needed some development and many of the motivations for certain character’s choices needed to be further fleshed out to be (belivable). That said this is book one of a series, so perhaps Mrs Smith intends to continue to build our characters backstories as the series progresses.
I was expecting a fun sci-fi (think Killjoys TV show) and less romance when I requested an ARC of The Rush’s Edge, so I was mildly disappointed to realize half of the novel was centered around romance. It wasn’t a deal breaker, but still..
I also expected Vivian to be a strong female character, but I was underwhelmed by her choices and her victim complex..I don’t want to say more and spoil the story – but Vivian was my least favourite character and felt like she could have been so much more. Also, if a guy hits you and you leave, only to date another guy who’s evidently just as violent? I think you need to take some time away from dating. Maybe its a personal opinion but, like..isn’t that considered unhealthy?
Things get real interesting in the last half of The Rush’s Edge. The crew has been settled into a sort of space faring family with serious problems – seriously interesting problems, that is!
What can I say? I loved how Ginger Smith ended The Rush’s Edge. After a very rocky beginning (I almost DNF a few times), The Rush’s Edge really took off in the second half with an interesting mystery (corporations! evil humans! rebels! aliens!), some really witty remarks, plenty of action and the sort of climatic ending that requires one to read book two which promises to be less romance and be more of a thriller-mystery combo in SPACE!
So, for all the problems I had with The Rush’s Edge, I thoroughly enjoyed it. All in all, I am anxiously awaiting book two and can’t wait to revisit my new favourite crew!