Genre : Science fiction
Publisher : Angry Robot
Length : 328 pages
Format : eARC
Rating : 2 stars
Publication Date : November 10th 2020
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-soldier, 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?
Hal Cullen, a genetically engineered ex-soldier, is now working on a scavenging ship under the command of his best friend and former CO, Tyce. Hal wasn’t engineered to live long, just to kill efficiently.
Vivi, a hacker, is in need of a new beginning. She’s homeless after being dumped by her abusive ex-boyfriend after messing up one of his jobs. She is saved by Hal and Tyce when two guys try to kidnap her in a bar and she decides to join their crew. However, she doesn’t expect her first mission to involve dealing with evil corporations, rebels and aliens.
I love Star Wars and I’m sucker for stories about rebels fighting against evil corporations and governments. I also love reading about characters who appears a bit rough around the edges but that are actually softies trying their best to care for their people. On paper, The Rush’s Edge sounded exactly like something I would enjoy and I was very excited to read it.
Sadly, I don’t think it lived up to its potential. The basic bones of a fun and exciting story were there but the execution feel flat for me. The writing was very mediocre and some words were repeated so much that I picked up on them after a few chapters and English isn’t even my first language…
The book is called The Rush’s Edge, I usually like when authors make references to the title of their books in their stories. However, the references to the title were so obvious that it became annoying. I did a quick word search in the eARC I read and, here are some stats:
- “Rush” was used 50 times
- “Edge” was mentioned 63 times
- “OK” was used 203 times mostly in sentences such as “Are you OK?” “I’m OK” and “it’s OK”
Mind you, the book could have gone through another round of edits before its release so, I might be overly picky for nothing. However, it annoyed me enough that I thought it was important to mention.
As for the characters and the plot well, they weren’t bad but they weren’t particularly good either. The relationships between the characters were very surface-level. Tyce and Hal are supposed to have an amazing bromance but I didn’t believe in it. The same goes for the romance between Hal and Vivi. I didn’t care for the major insta-love between them. Yes, you can have immediate attraction to someone but, the instant feelings and the over-protectiveness of the male character towards Vivi were unsettling (if not completely creepy). The argument that he is an ex-soldier engineered to protect his crew no matter what could be made but, it still didn’t sit right with me. I also really, really didn’t like the fact that Vivi kept on justifying Hal’s violent behaviors as “he would never hurt me, I trust him, he can be violent to other people but he would never hurt me”. I know this is fiction but I don’t want to read about a romantic people between someone with violent tendencies who is also over-bearing to his partner.
If you are looking for a very straightforward science fiction adventure that you can read with your brain cells turned off, you will probably enjoy it. However, if you are looking for an original story with interesting and complex characters, I wouldn’t recommend The Rush’s Edge. It’s a debut so I hope Ginger Smith’s writing will improve in her next works.