The Z Team

By Chris DeSantis

Rating: 3 stars

To be honest, this book wasn’t quite what I was expecting – I was expecting a found family story where the whole crew pulls together against external threats, but captain Dash Anderton’s biggest threat is his own crew. It’s not a spoiler to say that they mutiny – we start the book in media res in the middle of the mutiny, before jumping back to show the events that led up to it, which takes about half the book, and then the consequences.

I liked DeSantis’s world-building, in which he drops in details about how his galactic community (the Commonwealth) works, mostly without resorting to infodumps. There were a few biggies in there too, which weren’t expanded upon, but may be in future volumes – such as the idea that Earth has been cut off from the rest of the interstellar community after the “channel” that led to it collapsed; and that there are now subspecies of humanity.

Something else that was interesting here and which I’ve not really seen elsewhere, other than in MilSF, is the distinction between flight and ops crews – here it’s the ops crew that mutinies, while the flight crew stick together.

Dash, his pilot Gaius and medic Wesley form the flight crew and the book mostly follows them as characters, with Dash as our main PoV, while Wesley has his own secrets as he’s on the run, followed by a trio of bounty hunters.

It was a decent story, but I don’t know if I’ll look out for any sequels.

Book details

Publisher: TriWorld Publishing LLC
Year of publication: 2021

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