Ferrix Vaughn is the most trustworthy Omicron detective – he arrested his whole family for terrorism – and also the least trusted – he arrested his whole family for terrorism! When a fellow agent asks him to investigate a crash on a wildlife planet, Hesperidia, in the Herculean-L system, Vaughn agrees, little knowing that the seemingly simple case will lead him into an interplanetary conflict and cause him to reevaluate his relationships, old and new alike.
This is such a fun science fiction adventure story! I picked it up because of the promise of alien wildlife – a sort of Jurassic Park x Firefly – and stayed for the characters, plot, and world building.
The characters are great, and I loved Vaughn and xenozoologist, Juanita Corbija (or Jan). Both are guarded, damaged people. Jan physically wears her scars for all to see, while Vaughn’s scars remain hidden in his heart. Their backstories added complexity without slowing down the action in anyway.
The world building is strong, and I fitted right into the future scenario without once feeling lost or confused. I particularly loved Hersperidia. The alien life was imaginative and well described. Genetically modified animals, like Stopper the boxer dog, were also of particular interest to me.
This is a mystery story, and the plot is paced out well, making the book hard to put down. I enjoyed taking the journey with Vaughn, each new revelation adding up to a satisfying denouement.
The descriptions of the tech, alien animals, and humans are imaginative, and often beautiful. I could easily picture the characters and action.
Stopper, Jan’s dog, was the standout of the book for me, but I also liked Vaughn and Jan, and I loved how their relationship built over the course of the book.
I look forward to reading the rest in the series.
I award Alien Safari…