Ray Gun Reviews
SF/F reviews — and ray guns!

Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

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Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Pyr, 2009, 267pp.

I’ve been on a bit of a Kristine Kathryn Rusch kick recently. (Notice how I avoided the ‘rush’ pun? Pretty good, huh?) I started reading her Retrieval Artist series last winter and have been enthralled by her ability to create full-fleshed, three-dimensional, believable characters. And not just one or two, but an entire cast worth in each book.

So, it was with some pleasure that I received a review copy of a new series from her prolific pen: Diving into the Wreck, the first in a new series (the third book is due out soon). The premise is that in the future there are derelict spaceships ripe for the plunder. Like deep-sea wreck divers of today, there are wreck divers of these derelicts, people who explore for money and pleasure the ships of yesteryear. One such diver is Boss, a loner who is as much into diving for the pleasure as for the money, being an historian at heart.

One day Boss comes across a derelict of an ancient ship that shouldn’t exist: nothing that old should be as far out in space as it is. She is, of course, fascinated. Fearful that the government will quarantine the area, Boss puts quietly puts together a dive team without registering the wreck. Of course, things don’t go the way they should. (Why would they? The wreck shouldn’t be where it is, so something is awry.)

Diving into the Wreck is a fun but frustrating novel. The book is really three novellas strung together. The first novella is about the impossible wreck mentioned above. Then the second novella takes us into Boss’s past, explaining why she is a loner and has such a tortured soul. The third novella attempts to bring the first two together. Each novella, though, could have (and probably should have) been fleshed out into a novel. But because they’re all crushed into a single novel (that in itself isn’t that long — less than 300 pages), the pace feels rushed and lots of details are glossed over instead of fully explored.

If you haven’t read Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I would not recommend starting here. Go read a few of the Retrieval Artist novels or one of her fantasy novels, then come back. When you do, you’ll enjoy the ride (dive?). This is by far not Rusch’s best, but still a good read.

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