Cascade Failure

Tor (Ambit’s Run, Bk. 1). Mar. 2024. 416p. ISBN 9781250871251. pap. $17.99. SF
DEBUT Accused of desertion, Jal just wants to get home and clear his name. Instead he runs into the Ambit, crewed by Eoan, Nash, and Saint, whom he parted with on bad terms. Before Saint can drag Jal in to face justice, the Ambit picks up a distress signal from a hacker, Anke, trapped on a dead planet. Intergalactic megacorporation the Trust has been cutting costs by sabotaging terraformed worlds that have outlived their usefulness. Anke needs help to take the Trust’s Deadworld Code down. But can the crew of the Ambit trust each other? This book will appeal to fans of Becky Chambers’s The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet who enjoy heartfelt sci-fi featuring a tightknit crew but are looking for a grittier plot. The Deadworld Code leaves behind eerie, barren landscapes that the characters race through to undo corporate sabotage while evading other factions with their own agendas. Jal and Saint’s history hangs between them, lacing the story with themes of betrayal and how far people will go for forgiveness—or revenge.
VERDICT Sagas’s debut combines galactic and personal stakes in an entertaining series starter that leaves plenty of space for future adventures.
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