Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ismael Wang Rides Again!

Review: To Fire Called (A Seeker's Tale From The Golden Age Of The Solar Clipper Book 2) by Nathan Lowell


Pirates and smuggling are the nemesis of any shipping endeavor, even in a future time where sun systems substitute for trading destinations, and space stations take the place of port cities.

Nathan Lowell's tale of shipping and trading in space takes up the story of Ishmael Wang and his crewmates as they explore the source of the piracy and mayhem that over the initial six novels had gradually overtaken their happy existence, from the disastrous salvage ship in Double Share to the assassination iOwner's Share. 

I was happy to see Wang finally returning fully from this devastating loss, rising appropriately like the Phoenix that his new trading venture evokes. I particularly liked the way To Fire Called also wove into this story the characters and events from Milk Run, which had seemed to be a stand-alone novel in this universe. 

Kudos to Lowell as well for keeping his characters realistic, and not making them too lily-white or simon-pure—or eternally youthful! Even so, Ishmael is still himself, still insightful and full of integrity. Pip as an adult is a reasonable projection from Pip the semi-slacker data-crunching genius we first met in Quarter Share, and Chief Stevens has come to be one of my favorite characters!

If you haven't read the earlier series, Trader's Tales from the Golden Age of the Solar Clippers, some of the delight I gleaned from this book may be missing for you
—but I do envy you the experience in store as you catch up! I recommend beginning with Quarter Share and reading through all six to Owner's Share, then following with the earlier Seeker's TalesMilk Run and In Ashes Born (in either order) before launching into this latest tale.

Fair disclosure: I have never read a Nathan Lowell novel that I haven't had 5-star enjoyment from. Ditto his short stories. I'm an unabashed fan
—dig into the Solar Clippers tales, and join the crew!