Title: Junkyard (a Fractured Stars Novella)
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Publication Date: January 5, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Mystery
Length: 81 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
McCall Richter works as a skip tracer, tracking down criminals, con men, and people who stop making payments on their fancy new spaceships.
Her job description says nothing about locating vast quantities of stolen maple syrup, but thanks to her helpful new android employee, she finds herself tramping through a “sugar house” on a frosty moon full of suspicious characters. The only witness to the crime? The junkyard dog next door.
Junkyard is a stand-alone novella set two years before Fractured Stars.
Talk about a sticky situation!
It only took me a few scenes to find McCall endearing. She was an independent person who knew exactly what she wanted out of life. I was intrigued by the quirkier aspects of her personality, too, and was eager to get to know her better. The short introduction to her was more than enough to whet my appetite for more from this character and series.
I would have liked to see more time spent developing the mystery elements of the plot. The basic structure of it was there, but it was so simplistic that I didn’t have to put much effort into sorting everything out at all. There was a lot of space here to add nuance to the question of what happened to the maple syrup and who might have been responsible for the theft of it. This was the only thing preventing me from giving this tale a higher rating.
Some of my favourite scenes were the ones that showcased McCall’s relationships with Scipio and the other non-human creatures she spent a lot of time around, especially given how much she struggled to relate to other humans at times. It was marvellous to see her relax and enjoy the company of a select few companions who understood her so well. I’d love to see more of this later on in this series if it happens to be included there.
Junkyard would be a good read for fans of both the science fiction and mystery genres.