Firewalkers by Adrian Tchaikovsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The first review on GR! :)
I was pretty thrilled to get the copy on Netgalley. So much so that I had to read it the same day. Am I nuts? Or am I just a Firewalker at heart?
Gritty, depressing, and like a Hobbsian nightmare, these people live in a hothouse city on life support, barely kept alive because it is the base and the tether to the orbiting space station. Its people barely scrape by while the Roach Motel that takes in all the dignitaries and the rich are kept in Air Conditioned luxury.
Sounds rather familiar. Doesn't it? Well, Firewalkers are the ragged teams of poverty-ridden go-getters that fix the things that not even the robots can fix. They are the ones that get things working, but they're expendable and most of these young kids never come back from the near-apocalyptic desert surrounding the town.
The context is emotionally painful and takes up a large portion of the character building, but it's when the novella takes off into the wild that I was most thrilled.
I loved the tight team. I LOVED all the discoveries. No spoilers, but damn, Tchaikovsky has a huge fascination with creepy crawlies and programmed personalities, no?
The adventure is large, the stakes larger, and the end was super satisfying. I'm super glad I got my greedy hands on it.
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