Title: From Ice To Ashes
Author: Rhett C. Bruno
Expected date of publication: March 28 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Number of pages: Unknown (will update date as soon as I get this information)
POV: 3rd person
Where you will be able to find this book: Amazon
A humble laborer is caught in the tensions between Earth and Titan, the now-colonized moon of Saturn, in a standalone novel set in the universe of Titanborn (“Sci-fi noir at its finest.”—David Simpson, author of the Post-Human series).
Kale Drayton knows his place. As a Ringer, he’s used to keeping his head down and his mouth shut—no matter how much the Earthers abuse him or his own kind berate him. So when he’s caught stealing from a wealthy merchant, he’s lucky to be sentenced to low-paying maintenance work on a gas-harvesting ship instead of life in a cell . . . or worse.
But when his mother is quarantined, Kale finds himself backed into a corner. To pay for her medicine, he needs money—the kind of money he’ll never make sweeping floors and cleaning ships. So when he receives a mysterious offer asking him to do a simple job in exchange for his mother’s treatment, Kale takes a chance once more. All he has to do is upload a program onto his employer’s ship and all of his problems will disappear.
What starts as a straightforward smuggling gig soon reveals its shattering repercussions. The people who hired Kale are more dangerous than he suspected—and he’s more important to them than he ever could have imagined.
I had previously read Titanborn (review here) by Rhett C. Bruno and absolutely loved it!! So when Rhett emailed me and offered an ARC of From Ice to Ashes, I jumped right on it. Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed.
From Ice to Ashes start around where Titanborn ended. I say around because certain events in Titanborn are rewritten into Ice to Ashes from Kale’s perspective. If I had to give a timeline, maybe 3-4 days before the end of Titanborn. So it made for a very interesting perspective to the events at the end of Titanborn. Very interesting and very thought-provoking.
I liked Kale and felt awful for him. Life hadn’t been kind to him and the other Ringers. They are forced to live in subhuman conditions in the lower levels of the Darien and they are used as cheap (they get paid a lot less than the Earthers do). They also do not have the immune system that the Earthers’ do and get sick easily. Since they are “Ringer’s”, medication is not readily available to them as it is to the Earthers’. They are forced to pay for better medication and for cleaner rooms (the rooms in the Quarantine area are horrendous). So, when Kale’s mother gets sick, every last penny of his check from the gas harvester goes into paying for her to get better.
When we meet Kale, he is in a Ringer bar, waiting to lift a hand held terminal from an ex coworker named John. He quit his job on a gas harvester called the Piccolo to be closer to h is mother and was working two jobs to pay rent and her fee’s for quarantine. That wasn’t cutting it and he started turning to his old way of stealing to supplement his income.
After agreeing to do a job for his former boss (for lack of a better word), he gets a message and a video from a mysterious M. This mystery person wants Kale to do a job for him/her and they send along a video of Kale’s mother in Quarantine. She is deathly ill and is being kept in squalid conditions. This person tells Kale that if he does the job, she will be given medication that will cure her. All he has to do is get his job back on the Piccolo and upload some data. Easy peasy…right. Yeah, not so much.
As with all my other reviews, I am not going to go much into the book. There are a few surprises and one twist in the plot that took my by surprise. I want to add here that the mental image of the handheld terminal that I have is of a Pip Boy from the Fallout video games (BK loves playing those games).
The ending did kinda surprise me. I wasn’t expecting what happened to happen (and I am talking about the very end of the book). The author did leave it open for possibly a 3rd book in this universe and if that is the case, I will be anxiously waiting for it to come out.
How many stars will I give From Ice to Ashes: 4
Why: A wonderfully written space opera that will keep your attention from beginning to end.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Violence and one mild sexual situation
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**