DISCLOSURE: I am Twitter buddies with the author.
Joan Shengtu is a smuggler press-ganged into service to the Star Empire after one of her jobs goes awry. Dario Anazao is a freshly minted executive who wants to reform the ways of his father’s vast and powerful corporation. Commodore Zhang, a renowned Imperial naval officer, was captured by the Trade Federation, and Joan has been assigned to rescue her before she is brought to trial and executed. There’s only one small problem: Joan and Dario are officially on opposite sides of the conflict. And that’s not even counting the alien Lly’bra that has been menacing human space for quite some time…
I present to you Star Realms: Rescue Run.
The action moves along at a brisk pace; despite the book’s apparent length, there is almost never a wasted moment. The author describes all the spacefaring society’s bizarre technologies in ways that a casual reader can understand, along with some extrapolations about where current tech usage habits would lead us — apparently, we’ll have smartphone technology implanted into our very bodies (they’re pretty much like a body part already, so we’re halfway there.) Joan and Dario’s personal struggles also play a large role in the plot, but it is never kept far from the action.
The story’s flaws are minor, but noticeable. Dario’s sections tended to drag a bit more than usual, but thankfully, it wasn’t overbearing. While we learn that Regency Biotech and the Trade Federation as a whole are morally repugnant, the author doesn’t make them feel like a central, impending threat — instead, they come off as too distant from the action for the most part. Nonetheless, the stakes are clear for Joan and Dario, and it all leads to a satisfying final confrontation at the end.
Overall, I would recommend getting this book. It tells an interesting story that will give a reader plenty of enjoyment.