The Guardian blurb about Revenger says, “Swashbuckling! Pirates of the Caribbean meet Firefly.” I’m a big fan of Alastair Reynolds’s Space Operas. Revenger is a Young Adult SF novel featuring two feisty teenage sisters, Adrana and Fura Ness. Their father, hobbled by bad financial investments, is on the brink of bankruptcy. Anrana and Fura run away and join a starship as Bone Readers in an effort to restore the family fortune. Each starship has a “bone” or alien technology that allows instantaneous communication with other starships. But, in order for this system to work, Bone Readers are needed to make the connection. That’s why Bone Readers are the most valuable part of a starship’s crew.
The starship Adrana and Fura sign on to is called Monetta’s Mourn. Monetta’s Mourn is a scavenger ship that seeks “baubles” or sites where alien tech can be found and then sold for profit. After one of these missions, Monetta’s Mourn is attacked by a pirate ship, Nightjammer, led by Bosa Sennen. Bosa kills most of the crew of Monetta’s Mourn except for Adrana and another crew member who pretends to be Fura. Fura manages to hide on Monetta’s Mourn until she’s rescued. But the time waiting for rescue makes Fura determined to rescue her sister. Plenty of adventure and double-dealing result. If you’re in the mood for some old fashioned SF storytelling, Revenger delivers. GRADE: B+