Review: Artifact Space (Arcana Imperil #1) by Miles Cameron
Out in the darkness of space, something is targeting the Greatships.
With their vast cargo holds and a crew that could fill a city, the Greatships are the lifeblood of human occupied space, transporting an unimaginable volume – and value – of goods from City, the greatest human orbital, all the way to Tradepoint at the other, to trade for xenoglas with an unknowable alien species.
It has always been Marca Nbaro’s dream to achieve the near-impossible: escape her upbringing and venture into space.
All it took, to make her way onto the crew of the Greatship Athens was thousands of hours in simulators, dedication, and pawning or selling every scrap of her old life in order to forge a new one. But though she’s made her way onboard with faked papers, leaving her old life – and scandals – behind isn’t so easy.
She may have just combined all the dangers of her former life, with all the perils of the new . . .,
Dear Miles Cameron,
A good friend whose tastes run very close to mine recommended this book to me so it took very little hesitation to click on it and overall I am very happy that I did.
As the blurb tells you, our main character manages to escape a lot of problems in her old life by becoming a junior space officer (midshipper actually) on one of the Greatships called Athens (huge merchant ship basically which trades in space).
This is one of the books where I would definitely recommend getting a sample prior to buying it, because the voice can absolutely make it or break it for you. It is third person limited, which is usually my favorite one, but it also describes *every single possible detail of the settings”. It is VERY descriptive and more often than not this would not work for me, because I would feel that this would unnecessary slow down the narrative and at times, especially at the beginning I would say that I felt that way few times, but I am so glad I continued reading.
It is hard to explain but somehow describing every single detail of some trading transactions became comforting for me – it is described as we go and the main character learns what she has to learn to improve her skills and become the best officer and trader she could be, as she gets acclimated with the ship and people around her, so again for the most part it worked well for me. No guarantee that it will for you though, so once again, get a sample.
The book is most certainly NOT just about Athens and its team doing the trade. The blurb briefly touches on the fact that somebody is targeting Greatships and that yes, some people will die and we will see conspiracies and fight for the survival, etc. I do think that this story is in many ways inspired by classic space operas, I thought that part was very well done.
Please note that some scientific explanations of some things went right over me, I accepted it as a possibility because it was written with authority, but I have no idea if some things described were possible at all even with the extrapolation of some real science thrown in.
We are in March Nbaro’s head all the time (as third person limited POV as I mentioned previously). She was, to me, a very appealing character, willing to fight for her dreams and overcoming a lot of adversity. I definitely cheered for her and her friends and colleagues to survive and continue their work as they wanted. Another possible issue you may find with the main character is that she did not seem to have many (any?) flaws, but again this will really depend on the perspective. She did not read like a saint to me, just like a good person.
This does not have a cliffhanger at the end, but is one of those rare occasions when the book begs for a sequel.