Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Darkship Thieves, Sarah A. Hoyt

Sarah Hoyt's Darkship Thieves is a fun read, with a reasonably freedom-oriented bent. I think it's the strongest of this year's finalists for the Prometheus award. Athena Sinistra is the daughter of a wealthy tycoon who is kidnapped from her father's space yacht, and rescued by Christopher "Kit" Klaavil, an apparent ne'er-do-well from Eden, a colony founded by genetically enhanced humans in hiding from Earth. Eden seems to survive by siphoning off energy from Earth's orbiting power collectors.

Athena's and Kit's adventures together provide an opportunity for a look behind the scenes at how the society on Eden works. Athena can't be returned to Earth without revealing Eden's location, so she has to figure out how to earn a living on her own. The people are receptive and friendly, but insist that everyone find a way to support themselves. Athena has some skills, and finds a way to apply them, even though she's more used to people expecting her to take advantage of her father's wealth and position. It's a peaceful and progressive society and she earns people's respect, but wants to return home to Earth.

When they get back to Earth, Athena learns that the circumstances of her kidnapping weren't what she thought. Kit and Athena end up rescuing one another a few times, and they end up puzzling out some interesting mysteries about both their ancestries.

Hoyt throws in some plot twists involving cloning, brain transplants, and genetic enhancement.

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