Top positive review
So this Romulan, Klingon, and Vulcan walk into a bar...
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2020
This is the second book in a row where an author has made it extremely easy for me to give the book 5 stars. I'd have given it more if I could.
Let's talk about aliens. Some movies/TV shows have aliens that are truly alien. They don't look, think, or act like humans; we can't understand their behavior (Aliens, the "proto-molecule" from The Expanse, etc.). For most everything else, the aliens aren't exactly human but they're more like elves, dwarves, and hobbits but in SciFi rather than Fantasy.
And one thing that I never realized before reading this book is that there's always been some barrier, some taboo between different alien races. As someone on Quora said, "A Romulan would shoot you. A Klingon would allow you the chance to be shot with honor. A Vulcan would explain to you why it was necessary for you to be shot." A strong friendship between different races (excluding Kirk and Spock) would be as rare as, say, a romantic relationship between an elf and a dwarf (which would have Tolkien turning in his grave).
In The Expanse, the Rocinante brings together the different human political groups (Earther, Martian, Belter) and they have to work together to survive. In this story, the author brings different races (and an A.I.) together to survive and, by the end of the book, they become a family. The relationships were markedly deeper than previous books, movies, and TV shows that have sentient races.
The crew of the Wayfarer consists of Captain Ashby Santoso, Human, Sissix, Aandrisk, pilot, Ohan, Sianat Pair, navigator, Artis Corbin, Human, algaeist (fuel supply), Dr. Chef, Grum, Doctor and Cook, Kizzy Shao, Human, comp tech, Jenks, Human, mech tech, Rosemary Harper, Human, archivist, newest member of the crew and "a physics virgin", and, last but not least, Lovelace (AKA "Lovey"), A.I.. Each person has their personality, quirks, and secrets waiting to be revealed. The dialog between characters flows so naturally, that you'd think the author listened in on an actual conversation then wrote it down.
The world is "fleshed" out with all of the technology that you could want, scribs ("tablets"), sibs ("communication devices"), fixbots, slap ("neural") patches, tunneling bores (through time and space, not rock because the Wayfarer is a tunneling ship, creating new pathways from one part of known space to another). It also has all of the food and drink that a world with overlapping cultures could want from boringly recognizable tea to mek, kick, and SoberUps.
There's more, so much more, but I'm afraid of spoiling something in the story. I'm off to track down the second book in the series.