06 September 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Salvage by Eric Brown

SalvageSalvage by Eric Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Salvageman Ed saves Ella Rodriguez from spider-drones on the pleasure planet of Sinclair’s Landfall, he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for. Ella is not at all what she seems, as he’s soon about to find out.
What follows, as the spider-drones and the Hayakawa Organisation chase Ed, Ella and engineer Karrie light-years across space, is a fast-paced adventure with Ed learning more about Ella – and about himself – than he ever expected.
The Salvageman Ed series of linked stories – four of which appear here for the first time – combine action, humour and pathos, from the master of character-based adventure science fiction. 

This is the first short story collection of Brown's that I've read, if you can call it that. It's a group of stories that are all linked together by the characters and the general 'journey' of the stories, similar to Kethani which is another collection of his stories that blend together into a fine novel length book.

Salvage reads great and has a really fun 'pulp sci-fi' feel going on that I totally loved. At times I was reminded almost of some old Perry Rhodan stories that I've read but with a little more finesse. There's all the elements there for great stories - FTL star ships, robots , AI, aliens, weird and wonderful planets and species. The lot.

The use of words to describe people, places and things is absolutely fantastic and made me chuckle at times. I used the dictionary feature on my Kindle a number of times for some of the more impressive words. Check these two examples:

“They left the prison of the flesh, which by any definition is finite, and became immortal. They reside now in a realm of their own devising, free of the corruption of the physical, a hundred million of them in a virtual universe tied in a way I can barely comprehend to the nano-strings that bind the quantum universe. Their new home might very well last for ever.”
The creature said, raising itself on its multiple limbs, “I thank you for your hospitality, my friends, and now I must repair to my berth and void the excess of foodstuffs partaken. Good night to you.”

I love this stuff, right good yarns with heaps of well-proven sci-fi tropes and ideas all done in a fun an much entertaining way.

Overall a great little book that, once again, confirms Eric Brown as one of my all time favorite authors. I'd like him to do more work like this. Highly recommended.

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