SKYLARK IN THE FOG | Helyna L. Clove

Aaaaah, holidays! A relaxing time to sit and read, take things easy and get a bit of reading.

Like heck they are! Between tromping here, there and everywhere, and avoiding the obligatory dreaded boat trip I am managing to post this review of Helyna L. Clove's debut book Skylark in the Fog.

So when the universe falls to pieces, it doesn’t mean your life has to, right? That comes later.

Jeane Blake, captain of the spaceship Skylark, makes her living by looting dead worlds, planets fallen prey to naturally occurring wormhole-like rifts plaguing the cosmos. She survives the only way she knows how: avoiding commitment and arguing with her dead foster father's ghost. But when her crew stumbles upon an alien device that could collapse the wormhole network and wipe out all sentient life, they catch the hungry eyes of the Union, a tyrannical empire hunting the sinister tech.

As she flees the Union’s brainwashed agents, Jeane is forced to take on a shady mission and gets stuck assisting the runaway monarch of a technocrat planet. Queen Maura Tholis is seeking the aid of an interstellar resistance to reclaim her war-torn world, with another trouble-magnet device as her bargaining chip: a glove that allows her to command AI systems. Jeane couldn’t care less about the whole deal, but things become personal when the Union annexes the place she calls home. And it might be her fault.

Reluctant to become weapons in the hands of power-hungry militants and desperate rebels, smuggler and queen join forces. But to save their homes, they must redefine themselves, work with the enemy, and face personal traumas they’d buried long ago—and only stars know which challenge might break them in the end

Skylark in the fog revolves around a band of misfits, who after finding a strange bit of scrap on an unknown planet, end up getting involved with a renegade princess, an evil empire bent on dominating the universe and a possible catastrophic end of the universe, big bang scenario. 

I have to say that I enjoyed this book immensely. It was one of those books that I instantly liked. With a group of ragtag misfits that includes Jeanne, the captain of the Skylark, Klicks, the Talalan engineer, and ALU, the mysterious bio lifeform, I knew from the first page I was hooked.

On the whole, this is pretty much space opera fayre. You have the evil galactic empire that wants to rule the galaxy and you have the rebels on the other side, and then a reluctant hero getting involved. This is a trope that we all know and love, and I ain't gunna complain at that, because do you know what? The book did what it was supposed to do. It entertained me. It kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. 

I loved the characters in the story. There's hard assed Jeanne who runs the ship, who kinda reminds me of Dutch from Killjoys. Then there's Klicks who can't help tinkering with stuff and ALU, who is just so sweet. Then there's Maura, the princess who wants to do her best by her people and stop the war that has been raging for over six decades. 

Whilst the story is familiar in its space operyness and you think you know what's going to happen, the story takes some surprising twists in the way that certain plot points are dealt with. 

There's plenty of action throughout the book and there's definitely lots of space chases, laser gun fights and starship destroyers, so all the boxes that I know I want to read in a sci Fi book are checked and hey ho, let's go.

This is a really good debut and an impressive start to the series.


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