Author Rhett C. Bruno weaves a sci-fi detective story set a few hundred years in the future, in which long-time bounty hunter Malcolm Graves is given the task of finding a bomber who decided to strike on one of Earth’s most celebrated holidays.
However, Malcolm gets an unexpected surprise when Pervenio Corp., the company he tracks bounties for, decides to team him up with a partner named Zhaff from their new and highly secretive training program. Malcolm is not overly fond of working with a partner, particularly one as young and inexperienced as Zhaff, but he soon realizes that he may need all the help he can get in order to crack this case.
Bruno crafts a noir-style, sci-fi narrative, with some heavy action elements peppered throughout. Malcolm Graves, the grizzled bounty hunter who’s only in it for the money and the booze is a character that we feel like we’ve met before, and Zhaff, the by-the-book, almost robot-like partner is another trope of the detective genre most of us are familiar with. That being said, the author gives each of them just enough quirks to provide just enough depth for both of them. Occasionally these main characters feel a little thin, but never to the point where it becomes a distraction, or difficult to read.
The story takes us on a journey from Earth to the moons of Saturn, but for all the distance that gets covered, I feel like this is where the novel is lacking just a little bit. A greater description of the worlds the characters visit would have made for a more immersive experience that the reader could get lost in. Bruno gives us enough detail to understand where we are, and I will admit, the descriptions and immersion do get better as the book goes on, but the earlier chapters have a somewhat sterile quality about them that made it a little hard for me to actually get into the story in the beginning. However, as the story goes on, and some of the strands begin to weave themselves together, the picture that gets presented is ultimately one that I enjoyed.
Rhett C. Bruno gives us a narrative not unlike some other sci-fi detective/bounty hunter stories that we’ve encountered in the past. It’s not quite as complex or grand as some of those, but it does have a simplistic and streamlined appeal to it that makes for a nice change of pace from those larger, more complicated works. It won’t completely blow your mind, but it will keep you entertained.
The Verdict for Titanborn:
4 out of 5
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Stay nerdy, my friends.
Guest review contributed by Kdub’s Geekspot. This blog offers clear, concise reviews given in a fun style geared toward the nerd/geek culture.