Title: Zero Gravity Outcasts
Author: Kay Keppler
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: April 30, 2012
Minka Shokat only needs
two things in life: her fourth-generation Wayfarer spaceship, and two
best friends and crewmates by her side. Anjali and Tex were the only
people to stand by her after she was falsely branded a traitor and
kicked out of Central Command five years ago.
Since then, Minka
has kept as far from Command as the galaxy will allow. Working with her
friends on their own terms beats flying warships any day. But keeping
her junker of a ship flying takes money-money that Minka and her crew
don't have. As a last resort, she reluctantly accepts a job transporting
cargo for Central Command.
Then she finds out what her "cargo"
is: the very general who ruined her reputation and currently needs Minka
to deliver him safely to a peace conference. Now Minka and her biggest
rival must work together to fight off space pirates, commandos and
rebels who are determined to stop their mission-or be blown out of the
skies for good.
I'd like to start off by saying that I don't read novellas very often, as I prefer longer, more in depth stories. When I requested this one from Netgalley a few months ago, I didn't realize it was a novella. I just happened to glance at the location on my Kindle a few pages in and realize that I was already 20% done.
Since Zero Gravity Outcasts is a novella, it felt short to me, like a TV episode, opposed to a full-length film like a novel would be. There is very little world-building, due to the short length and I definitely found myself wanting more in that regard.
I found the characters to be a bit flat as well. Each of our main characters have a bit of back-story added in, but not a lot of depth. Minka, the heroine, comes across as determined and loyal, but I still didn't feel like I got to know her by the end. Anjali was the least developed of the main characters and all I could really tell about her was that she was organized and loyal. Tex came across as a very stereotypical gay man, despite his tragic backstory. I was a bit disappointed and wish that his character could have moved beyond hitting on the major and calling everyone "girlfriend". Major Reyne Jallomy was probably the most dynamic of the characters, as he reconnected with Minka and reassessed his loyalties.
Zero Gravity Outcasts' biggest achievement is the high level of action. If you're looking for some sci-fi, space-travel action, with weird inventions and plenty of under-dog space battles and don't really care about a strong connection with the characters or world, then this is the novella would be a good pick. I definitely see it like a pilot episode of a TV show, full of action and intriguing enough to make you try episode 2.
On the Cover:
I found this cover to be a bit plain, although I could definitely see the model as Minka.
Rating: 3 Hearts
Source: Received from publisher for review (via Netgalley)
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