Author: Tony Peak
Released: November 3rd 2015
Length: 464 pages
Source: Publisher for review
An epic debut set on the edges of space, where one botched job could mean death—or so much worse…Wanderlust runs in Kivita Vondir’s blood. She dreamed of salvaging like her father when she was young, and now it’s her addiction, getting her through pit stops filled with cheap alcohol and cheaper companionship and distracting her from her broken heart.Her latest contract to hunt down a fabled gemstone is exactly the kind of adventure she craves. But this job is more than meets the eye. For one thing, her duplicitous employer has hired rebel Sar Redryll—Kivita’s former lover—to stop her at any cost. For another, Kivita’s recovery of the relic unleashes in her powerful new abilities. Abilities that everyone in the Cetturo Arm—human, alien, and in-between—desperately wishes to control…As she avoids a massive galactic manhunt, Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar and his enigmatic new partner. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again…
In his first full length novel, Inherit the Stars, Tony Park offered us a wonderful space adventure with excellent worldbuilding, interesting societal structure, gray characters and a very memorable romance.
Tony Peak is a tremendously imaginative writer. Kivita Vondir’s world is complex, very socially layered and incredibly thought-through. I loved the descriptions of technology and of Kivita’s society, but I also loved that they never overtook the narrative and became more important than the story itself. Finding balance is the single most important thing in books that rely so heavily on worldbuilding, and it is my opinion that Tony Peak succeeded splendidly.
I found Kivita to be such a difficult character to like at times, a solitary woman intent on doing nothing but salvaging. She often suffered from far too much self doubt and for the most part, I was unable to find any justification for her splendid reputation. She was known and celebrated far and wide as an amazing salvager, but she had a tendency to mess up, which confused me to some extent. On the other hand, she redeemed herself toward the end when she proved to be both compassionate and kind.
The idea of a corrupt religious leader certainly isn’t new. If I can find a fault within Inherit the Stars, it’s that Dunaar seemed a bit stereotypical as a villain. A lot more could have been achieved with his character, but as it was, he wasn’t a truly convincing or complex threat.
For those among us who appreciate a good romance above all else, there’s enough fire and heat between Kivita and Saar to burn a whole city down. Their romance isn’t at all explicit, but their chemistry is off the charts. Admittedly, the romance could have done without the third person in the mix. I really don’t appreciate love triangles and find them to be overwhelmingly tedious and emotionally exhausting, but even that can be forgiven due to some extenuating circumstances.
Unsympathetic though she might have been, Kivita was still a delight to read about. This book’s true strength isn’t admittedly in its characters, but in the worldbuilding and in many action scenes that were done so very beautifully. The next time I’m in the mood for some really good science fiction, Tony Peak’s future works will surely be at the top of my list.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.