01 January 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Weird Space: The Baba Yaga by Eric Brown & Una McCormack

Weird Space: The Baba YagaWeird Space: The Baba Yaga by Eric Brown & Una McCormack (Weird Space #3)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The growing threat of the Weird has driven the Expansion to paranoia and oppression. Mandatory testing for infection is introduced, and the colony Braun's World - following reports of a new portal opening - is purged from orbit, at an unimaginable cost in lives.

Delia Walker, a senior analyst in the Expansions's intelligence bureau, protests the new policies and is drummed out. Desperate for a sign of hope, she charters the decrepit freighter the Baba Yaga and heads into Satan's Reach, following rumours of a world where humans and the Weird live peacefully side by side.

Hunted by the Bureau, Walker, her pilot Yershov, and Failt – a Vetch child stowaway, fleeing slavery – will uncover secrets about both the Weird and the Expansion; secrets that could prevent the seemingly inevitable war...

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This is a fine continuation to what is actually turning into a rather good space opera series where a vast galactic civilization is contending with invasion by the mysterious and seemingly invincible Weird from another dimension of space. I've long been a fan of Eric Brown's work, and this time he's allowed another author to latch onto his ideas and to move the story forward. Una McCormack is evidently very experienced with sci-fi writing and this shows through with this book. It's written in a nice style, is an easy read, and generally moves along in a nice steady way. There was never a point anywhere where things got boring or stale, and the author kept developing the background universe which will support future stories in the series. The story has a great beginning and end and the middle sections are enjoyable to read if not spectacular in any particular way. The conclusion opens up new questions about key aspects of the story, i.e. what the Weird really are and what their intentions are. McCormack has written a story that feels very much like what I've come to expect from Brown, which means a good story that doesn't mess with my head too much yet delivers a very entertaining journey through the pages. I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Definitely recommended.

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