Title: Zero Gravity Outcasts
Author: Kay Keppler,
Publisher: Carina Press
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy
This highly entertaining novella is an excellent alternative to watching a movie, or for when the fare on TV is just too awful to contemplate. If this was a movie, the whole family would be watching it. Even though it’s from Carina Press, it has only the merest hint of romance and it quite suitable for teens as well as adults.
After Minka Shokat was falsely branded a traitor and kicked out of Central Command five years ago, she bought an old space ship, refitted it with some unique technology and now uses it to run a cargo carrying service as far from Central Command as she can. She likes being her own boss and flying across the galaxy with her crewmates Anjali and Tex who are also her best friends.
When this story begins Anjali, against Minka’s desires, has accepted a job transporting cargo for Central Command. When she finds out that the “cargo” is the very general who ruined her reputation and currently needs Minka to deliver him safely to a peace conference, she wants to dump him off at the nearest planet. However, his protégé (and Minka’s ex lover from the time of her banishment) offers her triple wages for the transport, so she takes it on.
Unfortunately, others don’t want them to deliver the general to the peace conference and Minka and her biggest rival end up working together to fight off space pirates, commandos and rebels.
I loved the characters in this story and the camaraderie between Minka and her crew. The major (Minka’s old lover and the general’s protégé) didn’t call her after her banishment all those years ago, so they have some unfinished business. During their trip, his side of the story comes out and his respect for Minka grows after hearing the testimony of her crew. However, the general proves to be the horrible man Minka always knew he was.
The story grabbed me from the beginning and kept me entertained throughout. I overlooked the ‘how did they’ question raised by the ending because I wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way.
A great little read suitable for anyone who likes a bit of science fiction. I give it 4 out of 5.