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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers #1) by Alex White

The first in Alex White's Salvagers space opera series offers diverse characters, strong women, a heist setup, and, ultimately, a ragtag group of underdogs saving the day.

In Alex White's science fiction novel A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, the first in White's Salvagers series, a group of outcasts bands together to locate a legendary ship before it falls into the hands of the wrong people, people who would use it as a weapon.

The Harrow, the greatest warship ever built, has been lost for so long, some say it's merely a legend. But a hotshot racer who's on the run, a has-been treasure hunter looking for redemption, and the rest of the ragtag crew of the Capricious know that the ship is real--and that whoever controls the ship will control the fate of the universe.

A Big Ship is a space heist book with lots of action, strong women characters driving the plot, and a great underdogs-unite premise. I wasn't completely clear on the intersections of magic (glyphs, spells) and futuristic technology (AI, spaceships, futuristic weaponry), but White includes extensive details about the workings and processes. The explanation of the big reveal regarding the who-what-where-why of the evil masterminds felt so involved that it drew me out of the story somewhat.

I was in this for the characters, among them Cordell, the tough captain with a heart of gold; Boots, a jaded former fighter pilot turned reality star who hopes for a miracle; and Nilah, a privileged and daring racer who falls for the grumpiest crew member of all.

Each character in A Big Ship is reeling from planet-level destruction and heartbreak, and it's satisfying to follow them as they seek redemption, take comfort in and build loyalty to one another, and identify and aim to outsmart their enemies to try to save the world with scrappiness and luck.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I'm in love with the title of the second book in this series, A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy. The third book is titled The Worst of All Possible Worlds.

White is also the author of Alien: The Cold Forge and Every Mountain Made Low.


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