A Western set in the frontier of space with a gritty cowboy space ship captain and his motley crew adventuring in the stars was a cover to cover wonder read.
Shaw Sullivan has one goal and that’s to save the family ranch back on Earth Prime and he does what it takes to achieve it including signing up for a four-year stint in space as a governmental census taker. Shaw’s no tenderfoot and knows the colonists spread throughout all the inhabitable worlds won’t take kindly to a government snoop so he quietly goes about his business prepared for anything. Though, he doesn’t go empty-handed. Besides his own modified weaponry and distinct Stetson and long black coat, Shaw was given the modern Gilly spacecraft and his new AI partner Zed.
Shaw’s got a long list of survival rules for himself and they keep him out of trouble until he runs into trouble of the female variety. He’s no hero nor is he a bleeding heart, but turning the determined girl aside is beyond him. Besides, she’s good company on the Gilly. Only with the advent of a runaway bride comes more adventure his way leaving him no longer alone and definitely not bored.
Alright, this was a fun and exciting space western- and I really want more. I have been a fan of Heather Long’s Marines, Her Cowboys, Her Royals, and now I’m convinced she’s been holding out after reading her sci-fi.
Her Space Cowboy world is not exotic in the sense that she created a world where humans advance their knowledge enough so that they could explore space, find inhabitable worlds, and start colonizing- space land rushes if you will. A few centuries later and the colonies are distinct culturally, socially, and structurally from each other. Shaw’s job is to collect data on each, document his own personal reports, and turn it all in to his supervisor back home.
As to the characters, Shaw is the main protagonist. The story begins from his perspective. He is an individual who stands alone and functions in isolation just fine. He has a wry wit, keen intelligence, and he’s quite capable of taking care of business if someone wants to get rowdy. As he encounters each new member of his growing crew of misfits, he starts sharing the narration so the reader gets all their perspectives and perspectives on each other.
The tone is meant to be light and exciting and it was. I loved several cultural entertainment references that popped up. The pacing varied and the plot built to an exciting ending. There were a few reveals and the ending was open to more adventures for the crew of the Gilly.
All in all, this was an abso-fab sci-fi western adventure that I can recommend to those who enjoy both genres separate.
My thanks to Barclay Publicity for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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