Bramble. (Uncharted Hearts, Bk. 1). Nov. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250330413. pap. $18.99. SF
DEBUT Temperance Reed, better known as Temper because hers is legendary, has just become captain of the ramshackle spaceship Quest. Exiled from her merchant empire family and all the space they control, Temper has only the ship and crew as her home and family, and she’ll do anything to keep them together, including taking on a shady scouting run with Arcadio Escajeda. He’s a temptation she’s certain she should resist—but won’t, even though a romance between a wealthy merchant family scion and an exile is never in the cards. Fay’s wild adventure with its ragtag crew may send out Firefly vibes, but it’s the steam at its heart and the solid worldbuilding and characters wrapped around its engine core that will make this story travel at warp speed into readers’ hearts.
VERDICT Fay’s debut is highly recommended for fans of pulse-pounding combos of sci-fi with sympathetic characters and melting hearts, like that from Valerie Valdes, K.B. Wagers, Rachel Bach, and Cat Rambo.
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