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With the help of his commanding officer, a genetically engineered ex-soldier fights back against the government that created him and others like him to be expendable slaves…
Halvor Cullen, a genetically-engineered and technology implanted ex-solider, doesn’t see himself as a hero. After getting out of the service, all he’s interested in is chasing the adrenaline rush his body was designed to crave. Hal knows he won’t live long anyway; vat soldiers like him are designed to die early or will be burnt out from relentlessly seeking the rush. His best friend and former CO, Tyce, is determined not to let that happen and distracts him by work salvaging crashed ships in the Edge.
Then Hal’s ship gets a new crewmember – a hacker-turned-tecker named Vivi. As they become friends, Hal wonders if he’s got a chance with a natural-born like her. Then on a job, the crew finds a sphere that downloads an alien presence into their ship…
Multiple clashes with the military force Hal and his crew to choose sides. The battle they fight will determine the fate of vats and natural-borns throughout the galaxy. Will they join the movement against the Coalition? What has invaded their ship’s computer? And can there be a real future for a vat with an expiration date?
A heart stopping, edge of your seat exploration of the human psyche… IN SPACE!
Hot diggity dog that was a good journey and I’m gonna say I really, REALLY hope we get to see more of this universe and its inhabitants. I need to know more! Ginger, if you read this and Angry Robot doesn’t pull the trigger on a follow up be it a prequel, sequel or even a brief history then you need to call me and let me know more 😅
Okay so now I have that out of my system here we go…
We join the crew of the Loshad as they are docked in a spaceport looking for their next job when they unknowingly happen across a new crew mate. They are readying for a salvage trip that ultimately turns upside down and inside out and they find themselves thrust into the midst of a coverup/conspiracy that challenges everything they have ever known about their place in the universe.
It is very clear to see that Ginger Smith is tackling several social justice subjects, one of which is human rights, in her debut. This is handle nicely and works well within the story arc. In fact, the central arc is all about this and I really like this and I enjoy it when authors challenge their readers to think differently and grow as a person. For me this makes a book all that more engaging as a reader.
“I think that most people are good, if given a chance. But some people are not. Some people are very, very bad. And then there are others, like Max, who are just misguided, I guess. We have to help the misguided ones see what is right.”
Ginger Smith has created a unique cast of characters in The Rush’s Edge, my favourite being Hal. A hot headed, gun toting vat (Vanguard Assault Troop) that is kept on the straight and narrow and looked after by his Captain and good friend Tyce, the glue that holds the crew together using his calm temper and rational thinking which compensates for Hal’s aggression.
“I am the fist of the ACAS. In war I am strength. I bring justice of the coalition to it’s enemies. Victory is mine. I will gladly fight to the death. I do not surrender to exhaustion or fear. I am steadfast and tenacious in the face of adversity. I am inexorable. I am the ACAS.”
As I have already stated I want… no I need to know more about this universe and its inhabitants. There is mention of a war between civilisations that really intrigued me and I think it would be great to get a chance to explore this more. Another tick in the box is although we see the same type of mechanics used in other sci-fi Smith uses and adapts them in a way that makes them feel fresh and interesting. Artificial intelligence and genetically modified soldiers to name a couple.
One thing I want to mention because it is a big part of the story is romance. I’m not not usually a fan of romance in the books I read as I normally find it as a distraction from the story arc and often find that it fits unnaturally within the story itself. The moments of love and intimacy are normally weirdly placed or happen at a time that seems weird. The often used ‘let’s express our love prior to the final battle’ trope is something I often find quite boring. However, Ginger Smith has changed that for me at least in The Rush’s Edge. Ginger has injected romance into this story seamlessly and it adds to the overall effect of the book.
As for recommending The Rush’s Edge, I would highly recommend to lovers of easy going sci-fi or those looking at picking up their first sci-fi. It’s also a bonus if you like a little romance. Just like my review on The Aggressive by Gem Jackson, that can be found here, I would like to add that The Rush’s Edge is not overwhelming with its acronyms like a lot of science fiction, forcing you to flip back to the glossary to refresh you memory, and you don’t need to be clued up on all the tidbits of space travel. Smith gives those new to the genre a nice springboard to further their journey into the ion pulse engine, laser rifle, inertia drive worlds that we hardened fans love so much.