Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue — until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future.
The Gallion’s chief engineer Uma Ozakka has always been fascinated with the past, especially the tale of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Gallion rescues a run-down junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognise the Five’s legendary ship — and the Five’s famed leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew.
But nothing else about Leesongronski and his crewmates seems to match up with the historical record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, the lives of both crews are at stake — along with the future of humanity itself…
There’s a simple equation that applies to this book, and it’s this:
Spaceships + time travel = awesomeness.
Right from the beginning, I knew that it was mathematically impossible for me not to love this story. But what really surprised me was how much I loved it. It hooked me straight away, and just kept getting better and better.
When two ships from different times are trapped together in an inexplicable rift, anything can happen. The past is up for grabs, as is the future, and for a long time, I really didn’t know what direction the story would take. There’s so much intrigue crammed into these pages — it’s sure to get your head whirring as you try to guess at where it’s going.
But this story isn’t just a plot-fest. Under Fortunate Stars is so much more, thanks to its stellar cast of characters. The personalities of these two very different crews are front and centre of this book, showcasing one of the best cocktails of characters I’ve seen in ages. Imagine if the band of misfits from Firefly was transported onto the Starship Enterprise. How totally brilliant would that be? Well, that’s pretty much what this feels like. There are lovable rogues, nerdy engineers, and a whole roster of unique and endearing people to root for. The non-linear approach to the way the chapters unfold really works to delve deeper into the characters, and it makes their journeys so satisfying.
I loved the world that’s been created here. The hopefulness of the future, and the bridge that could be formed between an alien race known as the Felen and humanity, is superbly realised. And the constant clash between past and future is brilliant, ensuring tension and action aplenty.
Under Fortunate Stars sets out to thrill with a winning formula of spaceships and time travel, but it grows into something that’s so much more than the sum of its parts. This book is a magic trick, somehow managing to tantalise the mind while stirring the heart. It’s a time-bending, character-driven space adventure that’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face. If you take the time to track it down, you’re sure to feel very fortunate indeed.
Released on 10 May 2022 (US) and 12 May 2022 (UK)
Published by Solaris, Rebellion Publishing