I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Tracer by Rob Boffard
Series: Tracer #1
Published by Orbit on 2nd July 2015
Genres: Fiction, Science fiction
Our planet is in ruins. Three hundred miles above its scarred surface orbits Outer Earth: a space station with a million souls on board. They are all that remain of the human race.
Darnell is the head of the station's biotech lab. He's also a man with dark secrets. And he has ambitions for Outer Earth that no one will see coming. Prakesh is a scientist, and he has no idea what his boss Darnell is capable of. He'll have to move fast if he doesn't want to end up dead. And then there's Riley. She's a tracer - a courier. For her, speed is everything. But with her latest cargo, she's taken on more than she bargained for.
A chilling conspiracy connects them all. The countdown has begun for Outer Earth - and for mankind.
Recently, I decided to give The 100 another shot. I’d given up on it by episode three when it aired on television, but I was in the mood for that sort of science fiction. I devoured both series in a matter of weeks, and I was still hungry for more. Then I saw Tracer on Netgalley, auto-approved for me, and grabbed it.
And Tracer satisfied that hunger pretty well! It begins with one of the most fast-paced action scenes I have ever read, Riley’s every leap, spin and landing painted vividly for the reader. Although the action slowed down at points, it was still there, and for me that was the high point of the novel.
Unfortunately, where the book suffered was the characters. Tracer is told from three points of view: Riley, Prakesh and Darnell. Riley’s viewpoint is first person whereas the other two are told in third person. This was an interesting technique, focusing in on Riley as the main character, but I didn’t really feel a connection to her or any one else. If, in a book, characters are faced with a life or death situation, I need to care for them, I need to hope that they make it through. I just wasn’t feeling it for any of the characters in the book.
However, the plot was really great and that’s what pulled it through, along with the fantastically written action scenes. There are a lot of science fiction novels out there which focus on the ‘last humans’, but rarely is the threat to these survivors other members of their own race, rather than an extra-terrestrial species. THAT’S what’s scary – not an alien invasion, but human beings turning on each other.
Although I would have loved some more character development, this was a really fun science fiction novel, and definitely the sort of thing I was looking for. If you’re suffering from The 100 withdrawal, you might want to give it a try too!