The sequel to Kitra is another fun, small-scale space adventure that’s perfect for a lighter sci-fi read!
Book: Sirena by Gideon Marcus
Publication date: 30th September 2021
Ownership: E-copy sent free of charge by author. All opinions my own.
One starship, six friends, 10,000 lives in the balance…
Young captain-for-hire Kitra Yilmaz has gotten her first contract: escort the mysterious Princess of Atlántida beyond the Frontier and find her a new world. It’s a risky job, fraught with the threat of pirates, dangerous squatters, and rising romantic tensions.
Still, Kitra and her crew are up for anything — until they find a lush world, perfect for settlement…with an enormous ghost ship already in orbit.
What secret does the crippled vessel hide? And is Kitra ready to take responsibility for its precious cargo?
As with Kitra, the first book in this series (which I reviewed here), this is sci-fi that sits firmly on the lighter end of the spectrum. This isn’t to say that it’s not exciting and packed with peril, but rather than intergalactic space wars and deep philosophical musings about the existence of humanity as a whole, the focus is squarely on a single crew and their adventures. I really enjoy this – it’s cosy feeling and fun, and it’s nice to read sci-fi that doesn’t require much more brain-power than a connection to the characters.
We got to know Kitra and her crew of friends pretty well in book one, and it’s nice to see them again now that they’ve settled into their life together. There’s a little more development for Pinky, the blob-like alien, here, which I was glad to see, as he was one of my favourite characters, but for the most part, if you liked the dynamic in the first book, you get plenty more of it here. Kitra is a great viewpoint character; she’s likeable, and a little more seasoned here, so it’s easy to see why her crew get on so well. The introduction of a new character, the Princess of Atlantida, adds a fun new element to the group’s interactions, and I liked how casually her hoverchair was incorporated into the story without ever being a hindrance; this series really has a fundamentally diverse world and it’s nice to have that inclusivity be a given, rather than a plot point.
This is only a short book – under 200 pages! – so I don’t want to give too much away about the search for a hospitable planet, but if you enjoyed the pacey mild peril of Kitra, with interpersonal tensions mixed equally with spaceship shenanigans, this will be a similarly satisfying read. Really, I feel like I’m just repeating what I said in my earlier review, but it all still stands, because this is a very consistent sequel in terms of tone and enjoyability! In fact, the only major difference I think is the artwork – I’d complained about the quality and placement of the illustrations in Kitra, and I’m pleased to say these are better incorporated into Sirena.
If you’re exhausted by world-shattering, intricate hard sci-fi and just want to have a really fun, rip-roaring space adventure with a very entertaining crew of friends, this should be right up your street. Four out of five cats!