Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I honestly didn't know if I was really going to like this book for a good chunk of time. The opening was light SF with rag-tag characters getting lost in a starless-rift, only to find another craft. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't all that interesting. Fortunately, we get some pretty awesome timey-wimey stuff going on and a LOT of great backstory that fills in everything else, making for a very different kind of novel besides a bit of space-opera.
The long war with the aliens is more of a backdrop and agency-pusher. The real star of the show is the long-history and celebration of the diplomacy that put an end to the war -- and how it directly relates to both crews on both of these stranded ships.
It's pretty smart, a lot of time jumping, story-wise, but I rather enjoyed that aspect of it. Who are your heroes, after all? I especially loved seeing their flaws, the inconsistencies, the surprise reveals (not really that surprising as a reader, but enjoyable to see the others be surprised in the tale) and the resolution.
Mystery, communication, trust, adventure -- and especially destiny -- are the things that make this pretty good.
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