Amy Spahn has delivered another delightful installment of her Endurance series about the crew of a space ship sent to explore the far reaches of the universe because their bosses wanted to get them out of the way. The crew members are all there because they have failed in some way at other postings, and their captain’s aim is to prove that his team is not a bunch of no-hopers, but a useful part of the starship fleet.
In Preferred Dead, the ship lands on a planet where the inhabitants are all zombies and the Endurance’s crew sets about the task of curing the populous of their affliction. Of course, all does not go according to plan, and though it looks very hopeful at one stage, a last moment twist delivers an unexpected outcome. Throughout the story two ‘suits’ hover around, evaluating the crew’s performance and adding another level of tension to the plot.
Unlike Spahn’s previous books in this series, Preferred Dead really does need the background from the other books to be fully appreciated. This is because the themes of Victor’s relationship with the head of security and Thomas’s struggle with head command is an ongoing theme that has its roots in previous books. Preferred Dead is very much a mid-series book in that it relies on the previous books and sets up for a following book. I didn’t find the story as exciting as those in the earlier books and that is often the case with mid-series books.
In summary, if you like light-weight space opera style series, then I recommend this one. The books are short, and I think best read in close succession.
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