Derelict by L.J. Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Buy at Amazon
This first book in Cohen's Halcyone series is a great start. The main character, Ro Maldonado, is a prickly and talented young woman with an abusive father. And let me tell you, her father is a major jackass, a criminal, and an all-round candidate for worst father ever. However, his bad parenting is almost equaled by Micah Rotherwood's dad, a disgraced senator in league with Maldonado senior. All of the despicable behavior is in spoiler territory, so 'nuff said.
When Ro discovers Micah in the crashed derelict ship, she wants to move in as well. She's fascinated by the 40-year-old tech and wants badly to fix this abandoned ship for her own. Micah has been using the space for botany experiments, which involve growing some illegal plant material.
Jem Durbin is a brilliant kid who is a little bit infatuated with Ro and eagerly takes on projects to help her revive the Halcyone. His brother, Barre, is a genius in a completely different way involving music, but has a bit of a drug habit. When Jem finds Barre unconscious, he asks Ro to hack the medical system to get rid of any evidence of drugs in Barre's system. As soon as he can get his brother up and moving, he takes him to the Halcyone to hide out from their parents. Jem knows Barre will be sent to rehab if he's found, so off they go to join Ro and Micah on the derelict ship.
Okay, four brilliant teens messing about with an old ship. What could go wrong? Plenty is barely sufficient to cover it.
Overall this is a great setup for the series as we learn about the main actors in the series books to come (there are three in the series as I'm writing this, so hurry up and get started now).
This is a strong opening to an entertaining series which is not all fluffy YA kid stuff. There is plenty of tech here to satisfy the hardcore Science Fiction fan.
Highly recommended. I'll definitely be hitting the other books in the series soon.