After finishing the first book in Mike Resnick’s Starship series, Starship: Mutiny (my review), I decided to move on and finish the rest of the series. While I wasn’t thrilled with the first book, it was written well enough (and moved at a fast enough pace) that it could be mostly forgiven. So, I moved onto book two, Starship: Pirate. This book picks up almost immediately after the events of the first book and leads our merry crew on a journey through the Inner Frontier, a mostly lawless area of space where anything goes. Let’s read on.
At the end of book one, Commander Cole’s friends broke him out of the Republic prison and back onto the Theodore Roosevelt. The crew and Cole decided that they would be pirates. So they ran from the Republic in their old ship and headed toward the lawless Inner Frontier. The first thing that Cole does is sit his senior staff down to decide the big question: What kind of pirates will they be? Do they want to be the type of pirates who attack passenger liners? Or the type that attacks small worlds for extortion/protection money? The crew decides that they don’t want to head down that path, so they go for the only path available, they will become pirates of pirates. They will attack other pirates and steal what those pirates have stolen.
This turns out not to be as lucrative as the crew imagined. The loot they steal from other pirates seems to be valuable until they talk to a professional fence (a non-human with a Charles Dickens fetish who goes by the name David Copperfield) who tells them they have loot that is hard to move and easy to track, so they will only get about 5% of it’s true value. They come up with an insurance scheme to get more, but that soon backfires as well.
At this point they come upon another pirate captain (who goes by Val and about six thousand other names) who is a giant redheaded Amazonian woman who can out drink, out fight and scare (or befriend) almost anyone. They hire Val on as a pirate consultant who can tell them where to go and what to do. They team up with Val and David Copperfield to try their hand at pirating while staying within their self-imposed ethical guidelines.
The book is pretty much what you would expect after reading the first book in the series. It’s decently plotted with mainly wooden characters who are their to fill out the ranks besides Cole. The two new additions are semi-interesting, but rarely stretch to do more than their assigned role in the book. They are mainly there to give us information about pirating and the Inner Frontier without making it look too much like an essay. The writing and plot push the story along and help forgive the characterization sins. Mildly recommended.
This post is part of the thread: Starship – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.