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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Star Risk. Chris Bunch. Orbit (2002)

Excellent space opera. M'chel Riss, ex Alliance Marine, Friedrich von Baldur, a man with a varied background, Jasmine King, who may be a robot and Amsnandrah Grookonomonslf , a non-human known as Grok, form Star Risk, a mercenary company with a view to profiting from trouble. They hatch a plan to spring a prisoner from Death Row as part of a business pitch to a mining company suffering a lot of trouble. The escape and the pitch go well and they are hired, they also find that the trouble is being created by a very well organised and funded opponent. The action is fast, smart and very well paced, the cast are tremendous fun and thoroughly engaging and memorable, there is a solid plot and very nicely judged deadpan humour.
Chris Bunch has created a credible and expansive universe with tremendous economy and skill, there is no time wasted setting up the situation, the details are revealed through the actions of the cast. The cheerfully pragmatic approach the Star Risk team take to the risks and practicalities of providing a armed security service is handled with great humour. It gives a very nice flavour to the book, everyone is competent and thoughtfully so, it gives a lot of weight to the plot and the action.
This is a fun story, that takes a grubby view of the future, seeing that it will be humans being human in a different context, industrial processes will still be dirty, money will still be a very powerful motive and loyalty will remain a potent force. Sharp, clever and great fun.

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