The first novel in a new space adventure series!
After the colonization of Mars and Europa, it took us fewer than five generations to reach beyond our solar system and discover more planets capable of supporting human life. Too far away to be governed under Earth law, the Collective was formed. Several hundred years later, the Collective has expanded to a thriving system of six inhabited worlds.
Old captain Aramis Reyne and his ragtag crew on the Gryphon are runners, part of the Collective's interplanetary postal service. They deliver supplies to the farthest, darkest reaches of the Collective known as the fringe. After a warship captain confiscates one of their packages, Reyne discovers a galactic conspiracy involving military leaders, a secret organization, fringe rebels, and pirates…with the Gryphon’s crew stuck in the middle. Reyne must make an impossible delivery, and the entire Collective is at stake if he fails.
Can I just start out this review by saying that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when it came to Fringe Runner. Let me tell you guys how many sci-fi or space opera books I had read previously... none. Nope. Not a single one. Sci-Fi is not usually my bit. I'm as nerdy as they come. I love Star Wars, I can tell you all about space and astronomy (I went to Space Camp, for goodness sakes), but when it comes to Sci-Fi novels, I've never been interested. It's always been one of those genres that I always assumed worked better in the visual media (film, television, video games, etc). Well folks, I was wrong. Once again I underestimated the great Rachel Aukes.
Those of you who are new to my blog and reviews may not be familiar with Aukes, but anyone who has been around since the beginning will be well-acquainted with Aukes and her most recent series, the Deadland Saga. You see, Aukes has changed my life once before. Yes, I didn't say shelves. I said life. Prior to Aukes, I was very 'on the fence' about horror novels, especially anything regarding zombies. Through her literary masterpieces, Aukes made me a believer in the best of ways. Her eloquent writing style, paired with an ability to craft emotions so strong, Nicholas Sparks himself should be jealous, Aukes changed my literary landscape in indescribable ways.
I'd let Aukes guide me through the unknown once before, but was I confident she could change my views on the Sci-Fi genre? It didn't take long for me to find my answer.
From the very first chapter, I was hooked.
Fringe Runner is one of the most unique and original novels I have read in a very long time. Leaping off the pages and into the most creative of fantasies my mind could conjure, Aukes weaves a tale full of suspense, action, and spectacular emotions that left me begging for more!
The very best part of Fringe Runner is that it's the perfect Sci-Fi read to get your feet wet. Whether your a seasoned pro or a beginner to the genre, you'll greatly appreciate the world Aukes has created. Why is it so perfect for new readers of the genre, you ask? One of the glowing stereotypes of a Sci-Fi space opera is the high fantasy-level of description the authors tend to pour into each volume, leading to a slow moving plot that requires far more attention than your average reader is willing/has time to commit to. Aukes totally wipes that stereotype off the slate by providing her readers a full glimpse into her world, including all necessary backstory and world-building, without making the experience a grueling one for the readers. She slips in all necessary knowledge by effortlessly weaving it within her narrative.
A true testament to the talent of Aukes to break down the genre boundaries within the very first installment of this series.
I won't say too much about the plot in an effort to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you that while there are lots of details and character to keep track of, it's fairly easy to plot out the key players in the story. The plot is full of turmoil both on the action side and the emotional one. Aukes is no stranger to either action or emotion, so this series was sure to impress from the start. The ending to Fringe Runner left me pumped to see what she has in store for the next installment in the series.
Aukes really nailed it with her characters in this one. Each character is different, paired with their own triumphs and personality (or physical) flaws. It's amazing to get into the minds of such a large cast of characters in a read of this size. We really learn so much about everyone in a way that doesn't veer far from the plot's intended path. One of my favorite things about a Rachel Aukes novel is that while you know they are intended for older, matured audiences, they aren't riddled with gore, harsh language, or explicit sex. Take note readers, Aukes is an author to watch!
As mentioned before, I haven't read any sci-fi novels previously so I have very little to compare Fringe Runner to. What I can say is that I truly enjoyed the futuristic setting and technologies. They were described in short context, as though everything was not out of the ordinary. I think that made for a much more enjoyable experience. With this in mind, I was fully able to immerse myself into the plot and setting without worrying about the technicalities or 'realism' or the story. I dove in head first and came out with a new appreciation for both Aukes and the genre.
As you can clearly see, I was absolutely blown away by Fringe Runner. My only complaint is that we have to wait for the next book in the series. I definitely could have used another hundred pages! It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes a near-perfect 5-star review. A perfect read for fans of the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Don't take my word for it, grab yourself a copy of Fringe Runner, available now from your favorite retailer. You will not be disappointed!
Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes. As you can see, this book was way out of my norm, but one that griped me from the opening chapter and refused to let go until the very last page. I have to say I was not expecting to love this read as much as I did, but I couldn't recommend it more highly. Be sure to add this one to your TBR today and make sure to wish our author a very happy release day and the best of luck with this new series. Here's to you, Rachel Aukes! Thanks so much for stopping by, until next time, Happy Reading!