Friday, February 22, 2008

Galaxy Blues-Allen Steele

Galaxy Blues
Allen Steele
Ace, Apr 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780441015641

Being caught helping his brother to pass his exams at the Space Academy by giving him the answers, Jules Truffaut is kicked out of Union Astronautica Space Fleet. For months he works towards one goal: to get airborne. He stows away on the spaceship headed for Coyote but he gets caught. He steals the shuttle and lands on the planet where he is arrested. He hoped to ask for asylum when he landed but instead he knows with the charges against him that the Chief Magistrate will deport him.

Before he goes in front of the judge, billionaire Morgan Goldstein visits Jules in his prison cell; the wealthy man offers a proportion to the prisoner. He gives Jules a chance to become a crew member of the Pride of Cucamonga en route to the Rho Coronae Borealis System in order to make a trade pact with the elder species the hjadd. If he agrees all charges will be dropped and he will receive asylum. He agrees to go on the mission.

When the crew reach their destination, a cultural misunderstanding turns disastrous. Jules and his mates take part on a dangerous mission that more than likely will mean their death, but correcting the blunder is critical. If they succeed the hjadd will reconsider allowing humanity into the Talus, an organization of highly sentient races who exchange science and technological advances.

Set in the same universe as the Coyote trilogy, GALAXY BLUES is a rip roaring electrifying space opera in which humans are infants compared to the elder races. Readers will thoroughly enjoy learning about the hjadd and their strong unconscious belief in their superiority to the visiting barbaric mankind. Jules is an interesting antihero who tries to disapprove the hjadd perception that advanced technology equates to superior culture and species. Fans will appreciate his efforts.
Harriet Klausner

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