*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: When someone kills your buddy, it’s time for a road trip.
October Kohl no longer captains the Emperor’s Black. He’s spent his time since the war drinking whiskey. When a courier arrives carrying a message from an old friend, he knows it’s time to saddle up. The AI Algernon joins him.
What they find defies belief: an ever-young crew aboard an ancient starship. The Immortal carries a dark secret. The Ezeroc have a new weapon: they offer us life eternal.
Kohl and Algernon race across the stars in a borrowed starship. Empire Navy insurgents working with the Ezeroc stand in their way. If they can’t find the Ezeroc’s forever-young technology, humanity will surrender to the enemy willingly.
October Kohl’s faced worse odds. He’s never done it sober.
If you like page-turning action with great dialogue, get your copy of Tyche Forever today!
On one meat hand, you don’t really need to know about the previous Ezeroc Wars novels in order to enjoy this story: it is sheer adrenaline action and cynical badassery; lasers and space battles; alien face-huggers and hi-tech enhancements. On the other prosthetic hand, there is clearly a ton of backstory with these characters and this universe and it seems daft not to fill yourself in on it before embarking on the latest adventure. With this in mind I have added the author’s recommended reading order graphic to the bottom of this post.
The story starts with October Kohl, drunken grumpy arsehole on a reluctant rescue mission. As the plot unfolds, Kohl accrues a motley band of angry, sarcastic and/or bravely terrified teammates and together they kick arse across the cosmos, sending traitors to the Empire and Ezeroc roaches scuttling for cover. Well, not really. In fact they mostly attack and try to kill them. But in a world of nanite technology, high-powered prosthetics and super-I AI, even death can be up for debate!
It was a bit hard to get much of a feel for the ‘meat sock’ characters as they were in perpetual battle-motion for most of the story and therefore lots of action and not much time for heart-to-hearts. I’m guessing that, as recurring characters in the series, a lot of character development has happened in previous story arcs and I’m just late to the space party.
In contrast, I immediately loved Algernon (the AI) and the sections seen from his point of view were my favourites. He has such a distinct voice and mode of thought, and the author has really captured a fascinating blend of affection and detachment that makes for an entertaining and unpredictable character.
I recommend the Tyche/Ezeroc series for anyone who loves space rogues, alien invasions and laser battles. That… that’s everyone, right?!
This here’s a perfect opportunity. Kohl found his balance, then roared, charging her. Her eyes widened and she brought the knife up in her meat hand. Kohl slammed it aside, slugged her across the jaw, and wore a staggering haymaker from her metal arm for his troubles. She swapped the knife to her prosthetic arm. He narrowly missed being eviscerated as she swung for his stomach. He blocked a second strike with his rifle, the blade lodging in the battery. Electricity arced to her metal arm, but she grinned like it didn’t matter.
– Richard Parry, Tyche Forever