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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The…
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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers, 1) (edição 2018)

por Alex White (Autor)

Séries: The Salvagers (1)

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345858,957 (3.7)29
A crew of outcasts tries to find a legendary ship before it falls into the hands of those who would use it as a weapon in this science fiction adventure series for fans of The Expanse and Firefly. A washed-up treasure hunter, a hotshot racer, and a deadly secret society. They're all on a race against time to hunt down the greatest warship ever built. Some think the ship is lost forever, some think it's been destroyed, and some think it's only a legend, but one thing's for certain: whoever finds it will hold the fate of the universe in their hands. And treasure that valuable can never stay hidden for long.... Read the book that V. E. Schwab called "A clever fusion of magic and sci-fi. I was hooked from page one."… (mais)
Membro:ZacharyCoppage
Título:A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers, 1)
Autores:Alex White (Autor)
Informação:Orbit (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 480 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca, Para ler
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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe por Alex White

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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Gave up at about 57% of the way through. I don't know if it's because I was going through this book in between bouts of both the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Expanse series, but this just came off as...childish.

WAY too much "as you know, Bob" dialogue (pro tip: if, as an author, you find yourself writing, "as you know" or "as you're well aware" or "you'll remember" and then following it up with a fact that everyone in the story knows, but the reader doesn't, you're doing it wrong).

And the action, and the dialogue, and the magic, and the characters...to me, this felt more like a very light YA novel.

Just didn't work for me. I'll be skipping the follow up novel.
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

"If we separate, our odds of survival go down, and make no mistake, I know odds better than anyone you ll ever meet.”

She tongued the inside of her cheek as she thought it over. ‘Interesting ...1 figured you'd be happier with me dead.”

“Oh, I might. But I should also point out that your presence seduces the chance I'll be shot first. So do we have a deal?”

He snatched up her whiskey bottle and tipped the neck slightly toward her. She clinked her tumbler against it.

“All right. Until we salvage the Harrow, consider me part of the crew.”

WHAT'S A BIG SHIP AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE ABOUT?
To really explain the set-up to this novel would take more time than I have to write, and more time to read than you want to give—that's not an insult, if you're going to spend time reading the elaborate set-up, you'd be better off with White's prose than mine. But let's see if I can give a very sketchy version.

This is a Space Opera with a pretty elaborate magic system—almost every person is born with an innate ability. An ability to augment their electronics/engineering capability; their medical abilities; their marksmanship; and so on. A small, pitiable few have no magical ability.

One such person is one of our protagonists, Elizabeth "Boots" Elsworth, is one. Despite her lack of magic, she was a fantastic combat pilot. After the war, she gained some fame (and not that much money) hunting for a treasure on a reality show. Since then, she's eked out a living selling the equivalent of treasure maps for other would-be treasure hunters—many of which contain actual, verifiable information.

The other protagonist is Nilah Brio, one of the greatest living race drivers—she's on the cusp of winning the Pan-Galactic Racing Federation's Driver's Crown, when mid-race a magic-user of great ability interrupts things, kills another driver, and frames her for it.

Both of these women have somehow become the targets of a secret conspiracy that's tied to the Harrow. The Harrow is a space ship of tremendous power and as likely to exist as Atlantis. They've also found themselves on board the Capricious, the ship Boots served on during the war—still Captained by the same man, with a new crew and purpose. They're salvagers and the victims of one of Boots' faux-maps.

Boots is able to convince the crew to join her on the hunt for the Harrow to square her debt (and then some) and Nilah is along for the ride for various and sundry reasons.

THIS NOVEL REMINDS ME OF...
There's the dark conspiracy of The Expanse, the found family feel of Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, a magic system reminiscent of The Codex Alera (without the abilities having personalities...) mixed with that of the Alex Verus series*, and a tone that's in the same neighborhood as Kings of the Wyld. All of which makes for an entertaining read that should appeal to many SF readers.

* Not really, but it's the best I can come up with at the moment.

“...Hunter One and Two, standing by for orders.”

Those were the code names they’d been given. A few months ago, basking in the luxury of a PGRE hospitality suite, Nilah would've thought a code name was cool. Now, it just meant she was doing something stupid. Worse still, she was Hunter Two, and she had a pathological hatred of being second.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT A BIG SHIP AT THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE?
It was pretty good. In theory, this is exactly the kind of read that should appeal to me—this isn't just in my wheelhouse, it is my SF wheelhouse. I had a lot of fun reading it, I liked the characters, I thought White did the battle scenes right (no mean feat), and I thought the whole thing was pretty exciting.

But I didn't click with it. I can see much/most of what White was trying to do, and think he pulled it off. I can see where people would really dig this and want to go immediately scrambling for the rest of the trilogy. But it just didn't resonate with me. I'll likely get around to the rest of the trilogy soon—and I may end up a die-hard fan. But for the moment, the best I can say is, "yeah, it's all right."

This is a well-written novel full of all the things I listed above and should have a cadre of die-hard fans. I'm missing out on something that I'm not one of them—but you likely could be. If any of this seemed interesting to you, I'd recommend giving it a shot. If you do, come back and tell me what I missed, would you? ( )
  hcnewton | Apr 27, 2021 |
A very weird but enjoyable book. ( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
First, the fine and the good:

It reads like any number of treasure hunting (or salvaging) space opera tomes in that we're focused on an ensemble cast with quirks, heisty moments, and quite a few getaway chases. Lots of action and overall, I have nothing I want to complain about when it comes to this. I was thinking of the Italian Job at a few moments, and later of the ONE BIG SCORE kind of trope later on. Fun? Sure! Overall I'm a sucker for this kind of story. The underdogs get rich against all odds and baddies hot on their tail.

Okay, and then the bad. With one caveat. It may not annoy ANYONE other than me, but a future society hundreds of years in the future needs to have some kind of reason for switching from SF tech to Magic. There's spaceships, explosions, fast cars, AIs, and battlesuits. Instead of going along with the normal genre, the author or perhaps some pressure from an editor to get rid of all the "hard" techy bits just substituted any regular techy handwavium with Magic. Arcana, magic, and powered glyphs. Power your car, sick your mind magic on AI computers, hack with magic, shield your ship with magic, put people to SLEEP with magic.

I suppose it's too hard to rely on fuel, raw ability, intelligence, physics, or drugs.

I've read a lot of great magic mixed with high-tech societies, but the worldbuilding here is sub-par and reason-less. Even with the final reveal and the tragedy there (which was exciting) the rest of the magic system could have used a LOT of fleshing out. I invite him to read some Sanderson. :)

Otherwise, if I could only get over my fairly large gripe, the novel was entertaining enough. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I should have known from the title… and its sequels’ titles (currently A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy and The Worst of All Possible Worlds). This is the Becky Chambers school of titling books, and I’m not a fan of Becky Chambers’s novels. Although to be fair, I was unimpressed with A Big Ship at the End of the Universe for a number of reasons, of which its terrible title was probably the least objectionable. The bad news starts pretty much on the first page. This is a far-future space opera universe… and it has magic. There’s no sense to it, clearly it was added because the author thought it was a cool idea. Half the stuff magic does in the book is also done by technology. Why would they do that, build a technological solution to a problem already solved by magic? It’s like that throughout the story. But, you know, some people like tech and magic; the fact it makes no sense, that it destroys any rigour the universe might claim to possess, is not a deal-breaker for them. It’s certainly a hurdle more easily scaled by some readers than others. Had that been my only issue with A Big Ship at the End of the Universe, then I’d have simply written it off as “not for me”. But… The novel opens with car race on a space station and it’s clear this is a sport all worlds enjoy and follow, and there’s a lot of money and prestige invested in it, much like Formula 1 in the real world. During the race, one of the drivers, the favourite to win the championship, witnesses the murder of her rival by a strange masked magical figure who seems to have EVEN MOAR magical powers than is known to be possible. The driver is charged with the murder, fears for her life, and does a runner (despite belonging to one of the richest families in the galaxy). Meanwhile, a woman who makes a living selling fake treasure maps to gullible treasure hunters finds herself being hunted by unknown assailants. And she is one of those rare people who have no magical ability whatsoever. Both end up being kidnapped by, and then dragooned into, the crew of the Capricious, an ex-warship from the losing side of an earlier war. The map-seller was once a member of the crew but walked away when the war ended. Bad feelings remain. The plot is all about a super-warship that disappeared during the war, and somehow the super-magic assassin is associated with it. After some internal tensions, the crew of the Capricious track down the ship with authorially imposed ease, but then find themselves the targets of a group of super-powerful magicians, including the aforementioned assassin, who seem to have no trouble razing rich and powerful galactic institutions to the ground. And that is this novel’s biggest problem. The villains are super-powerful, and their strategy of slash and burn is at complete odds with the conspiracy’s previous actions, and it all seems EVEN MOAR implausible than having random magic powers in a technological space opera universe. And if that weren’t enough, the hardy band of adventures otherwise known as the crew of the Capricious still manage to win the day. They are massively outgunned, hugely outgunned… But they win. A battle, not the war – as indicated by the presence of sequels. I mean, there’s suspension of disbelief and there’s suspension of disbelief. The presence of magic is stretching it, but I’m willing to go with it. The rest? No! Dial it back, FFS. It’s nonsense. Super-villains taken down by hardy adventurers with no special powers? There’s no rigour here, no attempt at it. It’s like the author just threw “cool” ideas at the page with no regard for what fitted. It’s not like the plot is super original, because it’s not, in fact it’s a pretty standard one for RPGs (and “ordinary” player-characters overcoming super-powered NPCs is also pretty common in RPGs). Anyway, A Big Ship at the End of the Universe is not a good book. I will not be continuing with the series. ( )
  iansales | Aug 1, 2019 |
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A crew of outcasts tries to find a legendary ship before it falls into the hands of those who would use it as a weapon in this science fiction adventure series for fans of The Expanse and Firefly. A washed-up treasure hunter, a hotshot racer, and a deadly secret society. They're all on a race against time to hunt down the greatest warship ever built. Some think the ship is lost forever, some think it's been destroyed, and some think it's only a legend, but one thing's for certain: whoever finds it will hold the fate of the universe in their hands. And treasure that valuable can never stay hidden for long.... Read the book that V. E. Schwab called "A clever fusion of magic and sci-fi. I was hooked from page one."

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