Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Review: You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

Cover for You Sexy Thing
Title: You Sexy Thing
Author: Cat Rambo
Pages: 306
ISBN: 9781250269300
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: 16 November 2021
Genre: Science Fiction / Space Opera
Source: Library loan

TwiceFar station is at the edge of the known universe, and that's just how Niko Larson, former Admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind, likes it.

Retired and finally free of the continual war of conquest, Niko and the remnants of her former unit are content to spend the rest of their days working at the restaurant they built together, The Last Chance.

But, some wars can't ever be escaped, and unlike the Hive Mind, some enemies aren't content to let old soldiers go. Niko and her crew are forced onto a sentient ship convinced that it is being stolen and must survive the machinations of a sadistic pirate king if they even hope to keep the dream of The Last Chance alive.

Like its title Cat Rambo’s You Sexy Thing is unusual, unconventional and unique. It takes cooking, alien creatures, sentient spaceships, space pirates, warring galactic empires, prophesied destinies, werebeasts and even magic and blends all of these ingredients together to create something that will make your imagination sing with joy. It shouldn't work, but it somehow does.

She ignored him. “Your prophecies were wrong the last three times,” she told Lassite. “You need to stop sharing them with people. They’re always discouraging. You are a swarm of negativity. I’ve told you this before, it doesn’t do us any good when you make customers afraid by hissing doom.” (p 26)

The characters are engaging and each one brings their own unique perspective and skillset to the story. They form a perfect dysfunctional found family who care very deeply for each other, sticking together when everything goes to hell. 

I really enjoyed the main protagonist Niko Larson and her acerbic wit, but some of the supporting characters manage to upstage her, especially Lassite with his portents of doom and gloom. But it’s the ship, You Sexy Thing, itself that steals the show. I loved how the ship explores emotions and moulds a definite sense of self through its interaction with the crew.

Bioships are grown, not manufactured, and every gleaming, curving inch of You Sexy Thing managed to convey a sense of barely restrained power itching to be unleashed. It was a deep black in color, a black that greedily gulped up the light and buried it where no one would ever find it again. (p 61)

The story unfolds at a breakneck pace without a dull moment. Once the first explosion hits you are drawn completely in until the very last page. The ending is satisfying, but hints at so much more to come. I really hope we get to see more of The Thing and her crew and the amazing adventures that await.

You Sexy Thing is an immensely fun read. If you are looking for an unusual space opera with surprising emotional depth hidden in it’s cozy exterior then this is the book for you!

The Rating: 7.5/10 (Very Good)

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