Wreckers: A Denver Boyd Novel by George Ellis

Wreckers is a delightful mix of SciFi, action, adventure, and late 20th – early 21st-century film and TV pop culture. Cool, cool, cool!

At 19, Denver Boyd is the youngest captain of a wrecker spaceship (the 24th century’s version of a cosmic tow truck) in the verse. But don’t let his apparent youth fool you into thinking he isn’t experienced. Denver knows the score, and he’s one of the best mechanics around. Alone on his inherited vessel, the deceptively souped-up “Mustang 1,” except for his one-eyed cat, Pirate, and the snarky AI known as Gary, he takes calls for all kinds of repair services or tows from across the depths of known space, always barely on the positive side with credits, IPA beer, and delicious snack foods.

On his way to Jasper Station, he comes face-to-face with one of the last people he wants to encounter: the notorious Tracer captain, Desmond. Denver and Desmond had had a deal go sideways in the past, and that hadn’t endeared the boy to the ruthless pirate. Desmond demands a rendezvous and makes Denver an offer he can’t refuse. All he needs to do to get out of his bind with Desmond is sneak onboard one of the most elusive, outlaw space vessels known and steal an item that, apparently, everyone in the verse is willing to kill for. Through the course of events, Denver gains a couple of extra and unwanted crew members and earns an eye-popping bounty on his head courtesy of the universe’s peacekeeping agency: the Interstellar Federation Force.

Wreckers is total entertainment! It is one of those books that you’ll want to keep reading through until the very end in one sitting. That’s right! Get ready to stay up late for this one.

Denver Boyd is such a likable guy. His interaction with the AI, Gary, is fun and humorous. Denver’s attachment to his cat was heartwarming and is sure to hit home with many readers. Each addition to the crew brought new issues, unique skills, and more enjoyment. I look forward to reading more about each one of these in future books. I really loved the big guy, Edgar.

Not only did the characters keep me engaged, but the story itself also grabbed from the first page and never let go. I can attest that the action was truly non-stop, even when dipping into the past for Denver’s backstory. The story is told in both a present and past timeframe: both clearly delineated and easy to follow. His relationships with his family, can we say, are complicated at best? I worried for the kid! The author gives him a history with this father and half-brother that would be quite a burden for any 19-year-old to handle. However, Denver is nothing if not resilient. I liked that he had an uncle that stepped in to take him under his wing when things went sideways with the father and brother. And it felt like all he’d been through with his father, brother, and his uncle prepared him to become pretty, pretty, pretty good at what he does.

For SciFi readers that enjoy the technical side of things, there’s a little sumpin’ sumpin’ for you here, too; it’s not all characters emoting and feelings and yadda yadda yadda. There are parts, processes, shoot ‘em ups, spacey stuff, and a lot of throwback to Star Trek (The Original Show, please!) But for those that skim the tech talk, there’s not so much that it will overwhelm this snappy dialogued, character-driven action-adventure at its heart.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Reedsy Discovery.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Sci-Fi

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