Letters from the Light by Shel Calopa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For a book full of underdogs, marginalized characters, and pretty clear-cut bad guys that cross the line back and forth between being allies and antagonists, I still developed a distinct impression that I was reading a pretty standard SF adventure. You know, rebellion against the social machine, disgust with the old order, and the hard-scrabble for survival against stacked odds. That's fine for what it is, but it's not overly unique.
On the other hand, this novel is also jammed-packed with massive amounts of totally awesome worldbuilding and a seriously hardcore SF ethos. From a lush future Australia to spacecraft with failing pods, planetary colonies set up and sadly abandoned to their own worst failure modes, machine life, nanotech, and a very, very cool tech focused on light.
It's the SF ethos that I really appreciated. Oh, and the end sequence was ALL kinds of awesome. :)
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