Sunday, November 29, 2015

Her Brother’s Keeper by Mike Kupari

Science Fiction/Space Opera

From Goodreads:

DEBUT SOLO NOVEL FROM THE CO-AUTHOR OF DEAD SIX. Air Force weapons expert Mike Kupari, co-author of Dead Six and Swords of Exodus, offers up a science fiction adventure. When privateer Captain Catherine Blackwood is enlisted to rescue her brother from a treacherous warlord, she finds herself on her most dangerous mission yet.

It's been years since Catherine Blackwood left the stodgy, repressive colony world of Avalon. Now the captain of the privateer vessel Andromeda, she is the master of her own destiny. But Catherine soon finds herself back on Avalon after receiving a plea for help from a most unlikely source: her estranged father, esteemed Avalon Council member Augustus Blackwood.

It seems Catherine's brother, the heir to the Blackwood aristocracy, has gone off in search of treasure on the failed, chaotic world of Zanzibar. But Cecil Blackwood's plans have gone very, very wrong, and he has been taken hostage and held for ransom by a fearsome local warlord. Augustus, knowing his daughter is the only one who can be trusted to return his son safely, swallows his pride and hires Catherine to bring her brother home.

Catherine takes the job—but it won't be easy. Just getting to Zanzibar proves treacherous. And once she arrives, things only get worse. If she is to save her brother, Catherine Blackwood must face down danger at every turn and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.

Baen books is noted for its large stable of  established Science Fiction writers and a group of new writers they are helping get a start.  Many start off writing with an established writer to hone their craft and after a time they are turned loose on their own.  Mike Kupari is one of those. 

For a first solo novel Her Brother's Keeper is very well written.  There is a very complex plot that follows both Catherine Blackwood and her brother Cecil Blackwood.  Cecril is trying to just stay alive and Catherine is working very hard to get to where he is being held to rescue him.

The plot seems simple but Kupari has added many unusual elements that serve to ramp of both the danger and the tension.  While Catherine and Cecil play a big part in the story there are several very interesting not quite side characters and not quite main characters that add to the mix.  There is quite a bit of backstory about several of the characters.

The world-building provides several of those unusual elements.  Some of that is revealed in dangerous situations.

All of the elements for a great story are present.  Unfortunately when all of this was put together it resulted in a book that was just a little to predictable.  I kept reading but the tension that should have been there was missing.   A solid start but a miss from being a book I would ever e-read.

Baen published Her Brother’s Keeper by Mike Kupari in 2015.

I received an ARC of Her Brother’s Keeper from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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