Thursday, 10 March 2011

Darkship Thieves (Darkship Book 1) - Sarah A. Hoyt


Published: 2010
Price: £5.20 for Print Version Here

I will admit right now that the only reason I read this book is because it is the March read for Dreams and Speculation's Women of Science Fiction Book Club . To be honest, I am not sure I would have picked up if it hadn't been for the Book Club. The Brief synopsis on Amazon told me pretty much nothing about what the book would really be about and the cover just confused me as to me, it appeared to be a naked woman being grabbed by some sort of tree. Anyway, I was glad that I did end up reading it because I found it rather enjoyable overall and it is an example of not judging a book by it's cover or blurb.

In brief, the story starts with Athena Hera Sinistra fleeing a mutiny on her father’s ship in a lifepod before she manages to collide with a "Darkship" and is picked up by it's pilot. The story then opens up and leads us on a merry adventure that slowly adds pieces of information about the society, people & history as it progresses.

Just to let everyone know as I was curious myself about it, the title of "Darkship Thieves" is referring to the crew of the "Darkships" who "steal" genetically engineered powerpods which grow in Earth Orbit. These pods are the power source for both Earth & the Darkship Thieves colony of "Eden".

It didn't take me to long to get through the book, as I was desperately reading to find out where the hell the story was going to take me next as it did capture my interest. I will admit though, that I did struggle in the middle of the book during the time spent on "Eden" when Athena beings to learn about this culture and people and tries to find her place there. I just felt it slowed down the story quite noticeably compared to the rest of the novel. I am not overly sure how important some of this section really was to the overall story, but I think it was there to try and flesh out some of the characters a bit more and give us an excuse of learning some more history of the Universe that Sarah Hoyt had created. I won't really complain about it though as I did find the Universe it revealed really interesting, I just wish it could have been done in a little bit more of a dynamic manner at times.

The last section of the book is set on Earth and I think it was this section that I enjoyed the most as we finally followed an action packed sequence of events to discover the real truth about Athena herself. I will add though that I did note the way that some obstacles were so "easily" overcome, but I am pretty much used to that from many books that create a strong lead character like this.

The only thing I really didn't like was the Romance plotline, I just felt it was rather weak and felt tacked on to try and ensure that various events could occur. Since reading the book, I have checked a few comments and several people actually talk about how much they like the Romance part of the novel. I just can't see it myself, maybe though I am just being a bitter unromantic git or something....

In regards to the various characters within the book itself. Well, we do learn and understand throughout the book things about Athena herself and the pilot who saves her named Kit. Other than them though, I think the characterisation is rather light at times. I have no real issues with that however as the entire book is told from Athena's point of view and to be honest, I get the feeling from reading this book that Athena doesn't actually give a crap about most people bar herself and Kit anyway. As for the "bad guys" in the novel, well they turn out to be pretty typical "bad guys" without any redeeming features.

As said earlier however, despite some of my comments here, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys the more light-hearted and adventure aspects of the Sci-Fi Genre. I just hope that Sarah Hoyt decides to create more novels in this Universe because I am really interested in knowing what happens on Earth after the events Athena set in motion there.