DARK RUN by Mike Brooks is an awesome book! Semi-hard science fiction cast into the future after the great human diaspora into the stars.
We find Captain Ichabod Drift with his crew looking to leave their past behind, but become wrapped up in a smuggling run that will change their lives forever. Old regrets and dark secrets will come to light and refuse to be forgotten.
I had been circling this series for awhile and finally took the dive and I’m really glad I did. Brooks as a fun style that flows nicely and reads really well. He also has a tendency to pack in only the “fun” parts, which is great and keeps the pacing of this book tight, without too much fluff. What sells this book more than anything else, is the crew of characters, that give real soul to the story. Drift is a fantastically complex character that can’t decide if he wants to be good or continue to grey out his morality and the rest of his crew has similar struggles.
As far as some issues may go, I think he relies a bit too much on ex machina pulls, where the heroes are saved almost too cleanly from outside forces, although they do get beat up in the process, so it’s not too clean. There are also some points in his book where it feels kind of derivative of what has been done before in this sort of smuggling, human diaspora expansion of humanity into the galaxy. Either way, this kinks may get worked out in the later books as Brooks settles more into his world and plays with these characters.
Some readers of science fiction may treat this book as more “pop sci-fi” purely on the basis of it being lite hard science fiction, but for fans of the Expanse series, this is right up your alley.
An all-around great sci-fi read involving interstellar hitmen, cyborgs, and rogue pirates. Brooks prose is light, fun, and an action-packed, zero gravity joyride!