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Book Review | Cascade Failure by L.M. Sagas

From the publisher: A high-octane, sci-fi adventure featuring a fierce, messy, chaotic space family, vibrant worlds, and an exploration of the many ways to be—and not to be—human.

Cascade Failure is a debut novel and the planned first book in a series set in space. A ragtag found family crews a wonky but space worthy vessel known as the Ambit. The beings aboard include Eoan, a sentient AI who captains the ship; Saint, a Guild member who has been around the block more than a few times; Nash, a handy engineer who can fix (and shoot) anything; a Guild deserter named Jal with body modifications and long history with Saint; and Anke, a brilliant hacker who is a complete unknown to the crew after they rescue her from a dead planet.

There’s nothing particularly original here, but if you like the TV series Firefly and works by Becky Chambers, you may enjoy Cascade Failure. This is about action, shooting, regrets, space, politics, computers, and not worrying too much that anyone important will die in the end. It was a fun read, and the kind of “first in a series” that might be better on a reread after a few more books have been added and I’ve gotten to know the world and the characters better.

I found the action scenes very hard to follow at times and might have enjoyed them more if I’d listened to the book on audio. So far there is no more than a hint of romance; the crew’s bond is based on friendship and shared experiences.

I read an advance reader copy of Cascade Failure. It is scheduled to be published in March and will be available through the Galesburg Public Library in print, as an ebook, and on audio.

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