Book: The Kassa Gambit
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Prudence Falling is a young captain of a tramp freighter. She was an orphan from the dead world of Strattenburg. With a crew of misfits, she transports cargo (not always legal) and distributes the profits in shares. On a cargo run to the world of Kassa, the routine comes apart when she finds the planet has been attacked by mysterious aliens. Captain Falling’s routine is further disrupted when she meets Lt. Kyle Daspar who works as a double agent against a mysterious organization called the League. Thrown together, neither quite trusts the other. Nonetheless, they are strangely attracted to each other.
Flying rescue missions, they discover an abandoned alien fighter, crashed and abandoned during the attack. However, something about it doesn’t add up. As they move to unravel the mystery of the attack on Kassa, they find themselves in the sights of powerful people. Under the threat of alien invasion, is the real enemy far closer to home?
The Kassa Gambit is, what I would call, a classic space opera. It makes use of the tried and true formula of a free trader coming up against a powerful adversary. The co-protagonists are complex with reason to be highly suspicious of each other. They are also quite attracted to each other. The story unfolds like a mystery, with layers of intrigue as well as action in realistic life or death struggles. The only week point in the story is that when the antagonist is finally revealed, I didn’t find him entirely convincing. This left the ending feeling a little rushed.
Taken together, it was a very enjoyable tale.