Edinburgh based T Q Chant’s novella of just 99 pages is set on a distant planet, on the edge of civilisation and where ex-Con and ex-Soldier Sam Cane has just landed.
Sam Cane doesn’t have much of a choice. She’s signed up to offer security to a shipping company that isn’t big on background checks. This suits Sam fine as she can’t have anyone snooping around in her background while expecting any form of employment.
She’s supposed to be landing on the harsh planet in order to help out with the frontier colony that’s been set up there. The deadly catch? While the buildings and most of the technology is where it is supposed to be – none of the people are. The whole planet seems to be deserted!
We follow Sam as the mystery turns into a battle for survival. The novella has sci-fi enough to appeal to sci-fi fans without isolating everyone else. There’s action, gruesome discoveries, strange four winged birds and even some computer hacking as the drama unfolds.
The novella doesn’t hang around or pull any punches. We explore the world through Sam Cane, discovering what people and things look like as she sees them, feeling the struggle to survive on the uncompromising planet as she does and getting caught up in the growing danger as she does.
It’s a hard setdown in every sense of the phrase. It’s a rough landing and Sam’s thrown straight into a hard situation. I whisked through the book on my kindle app on my Nexus 7 in no time at all. It wasn’t a hard read at all.
Initially I was slightly put off by the realisation there might be a large chunk of the book in which our hero was by herself. I wasn’t sure how that would read and worried I might get a bit fed up of the inside of Sam’s head and her numerous rules of life. Thankfully, Chant’s ahead of me on that particular worry and the pace of the plot puts such fears to bed. There’s more than enough twists and turns to keep you, as the reader, occupied.
The novella ends at the end of significant chunk of drama. There’s still plenty more for Sam to do and there’s very much the expectation this is the start of a series.