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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dark Run by Mike Brooks

What do you get when you combine Clint Eastwood with Han Solo and Captain Kirk?  Probably something closely resembling Ichabod Drift, captain of The Keiko, privateering ship in Mike Brooks new space opera Dark Run.  This tale combines elements of the American old west, pirates of the high seas and of course space travel.

This is a book that relies heavily on the characters in it.  We spend most  of our time with the central character, Ichabod Drift, and his development sets the pace for much of the story.  The rest of the cast is made of many of the archetypes we expect to accompany a swashbuckling captain who has a reputation with the ladies.  Everything from the brooding and simple-minded muscle to the mysterious first mate to the techie who is only at home with gizmos and computers.  These are always nice touchstones to help the reader into a world that is unfamiliar but, in this case, there could have been a bit more life brought into each of the characters.  Having each match too closely to their job makes them almost seem like 'off-the-shelf' characters too easily dismissed as set pieces.  They really aren't since each has a crucial role to the narrative but, it take a little to long to feel they are more than their job descriptions.

The story itself is largely character driven and suffers some from the underpowered crew.  We start with an established crew of privateers who manage to keep the bills paid while travelling the galaxy.  One day, the captain is given an offer he can't refuse and does not fully explain to the rest of the crew.  This leads to events that but the whole crew to the test.  This along with the revelation of some crew members buried past puts the future of the group in jeopardy.

Dark Run by Mike Brooks is credible start to what could be a very interesting series.  Breathing life into the crew and some timely exposition of their pasts could make for some entertaining reading in the future.  The violence and sex scenes earn this one an R rating in my book.

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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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