Space station survival
Release Date: OUT NOW!
398 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author: Rob Boffard Publisher: Orbit
Genre and mainstream
fiction are marching ever closer, with successes like The Martian proving that general readers will happily devour the right kind of accessible sci- fi adventure. Publishers are naturally keen to capitalise on this trend, but while debut author Rob Boffard’s new SF thriller has enough pure action to make it a contender, it also trips itself up with some frustrating mistakes.
The setting is Outer Earth, a massive space station where the remnants of humanity live after the planet itself has become a polluted wasteland. With a million people crammed into its overcrowded corridors, Outer Earth is already a dangerous environment, but there’s a lethal conspiracy brewing. Young courier Riley Hale is dragged into it by her latest delivery, and she’s soon the only person who can save the station from destruction…
Tracer’s story features plenty of intrigue, and the relentlessly fast pace gives the book strong momentum, but the vivid action scenes can’t fully distract from the glaring flaws. Despite Boffard’s smooth prose style, he falls prey to vague, shaky world- building, while his principal villains are painfully two- dimensional, so the book ultimately doesn’t stand out enough from other recent “sealed society” tales ( such as Hugh Howey’s Wool). While Tracer works as a simplistic, page- turning action thriller, regular SF readers may be left wanting something a little fresher and more demanding. Saxon Bullock Rob Boffard lost his sense of smell at the age of four after falling out of a tree in Zimbabwe. He also speaks Zulu.