Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hunting the Corrigan's Blood - a space opera thriller

After I finished reading Holly Lisle's Tales from the Longview series, I bought her two Cadence Drake novels which take place before the Longview books and set the scene for that series. I wanted to know more about the people the author calls 'Legends'.

The first book, Hunting the Corrigan's Blood, introduces Cadence (Cady) Drake and her partner, Badger. If you're looking for diversity, these two have it in spades. Badger is an albino and Cady is a genetically-engineered hodge-podge, designed by her mother using DNA from three different 'fathers'.  To say Cady doesn't get on with her mother is an understatement – and she doesn't have a father, both factors which have influenced her development as an individual.  There's no way this book is a romance – but there is a love interest which plays an important role in the development of Cady's character.

We meet Cady in rather dramatic circumstances, shackled to a corpse and stuffed into a locker on a space station. It's a graphic scene, very well written but within the context of the rest of the story I wasn't convinced as to why the villains would do that. But I was certainly interested enough to keep reading.

This book is a thriller/detective story with steadily escalating stakes, twists, and turns. It's crammed with believable tech. I especially liked the Medix, a box which can fix all ailments and rejuvenate the human body. An hour in one of these can substitute for a good night's sleep and a few days will repair broken bones and missing limbs. And change your appearance if you want – bigger boobs, less backside – that sort of thing.

In true space opera fashion Cady and Badger move from planet to planet to space station in search of the stolen space ship Corrigan's Blood and find themselves mixed up in something increasingly sinister.  The world-building is excellent, with believable high-tech space stations contrasting with settlements on planets intent on going back to non-tech roots, a little like the Amish in Pennsylvania. One planet is called 'Up Yours'. So very Australian :)

I've said many times that I don't read horror. I've never watched any of the Alien franchise despite the sexy space ships and I don't watch series like The Walking Dead. There are elements in this book which come close to horror. The villains are spectacular. Although I often cringed I couldn't look away as the odds against Cady and Badger rose.

You probably realise I loved it.

Here's the blurb:

DESCRIPTION: Cadence Drake takes on a job finding a missing space yacht--a job that turns into a deadly nightmare. This is the first novel in the Cadence Drake series of linked stand-alones.

--------Cadence Drake is a finder of lost things. Badger Bede is a technical wizard adept at creating programs that make Cady's life easier. Both are handy with a stunner.

All their talents are put to the test as they search for the Corrigan's Blood, a new kind of TFN-drive spaceship with some very special abilities. At first it looks like their dream job -- the job that will allow them to pay off their own ship, the Hope's Reward, and to be more picky about the clients and work they accept -- but they quickly learn that every dream has a price.

Because behind the stolen ship lies the mystery of the people who stole it, people who appear to be using this insanely expensive vessel and others like it to smuggle inexpensive medicine to people who don't need it.

And behind that mystery is another...

Why are all these people linked to Cady's past and the one person who made it impossible for her to ever go home again?

And why does everyone in the universe want Cady dead? 

You'll find the book at Amazon. Or visit Holly's website.

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