Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #1)

By Nathan Lowell

Rating: 4 stars

After his mother dies, the company that runs his planet evicts Ishmael Wang within hours. He ends up signing up to the lowest position on to an interstellar freighter and we follow him as he makes friends on the ship and falls in love with the “Deep Dark” of space. It’s a gentle, cosy story with lots of food, trading, and so much coffee.

Despite the far-future setting, there’s very little science fiction in this book. Other than the really nice food, there’s little that would change if we moved from a space freighter to a sailing ship. But I enjoyed spending time with the characters, so I didn’t particularly mind that. There’s a lot of trading as well, where they pick up items from one world and take it to another to sell. It reminded me of a game of Traveller that my RPG group played a while ago. I found the trading aspect the least interesting part of the game and it’s one reason that we’ve never really gone back to that game.

I was also quite surprised by how quickly and easily Ishmael settled into the ship. There had been talk in the early chapters about hazing and lack of respect for the junior crew. But there’s no sign of that on the Lois McKendrick. I also couldn’t entirely believe that the drills were a surprise to Ishmael. Surely that would be front and centre in the Handbook and he’d have been instructed in that on day one. But then there didn’t seem to be much of an induction on the ship.

But despite the minor complaints, I enjoyed getting to know the crew of the Lois McKendrick. I’ll definitely be reading the next one in the series.

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