Review: Muses of Roma

So sometime last week or maybe the week before? *mumbles under breath* time keeps dilating on me…

Anyway, this is your sleep-deprived book review. I got an email saying “I see you review books on the blog, would you mind terribly taking a look at mine?” Or words to that effect, and my first reaction wasn’t good. The track record of books I have read when asked by a stranger hasn’t been terribly good. But… I’m a nice person. Maybe too nice. So I clicked over to Amazon and looked at the book. The cover isn’t bad, the blurb was intriguing. What can I say, I’m a sucker for both Roman history and space opera? I did the look-inside, read a chapter… and bought the book. Muses of Roma by Rob Steiner…

WordPress *still* won’t let me put in a proper linky thing, so click on the cover icon below to explore it for yourself and buy… Yes, I do get a little when you purchase through one of my link things.

Fortunately, the rest of the book stood up to the first couple of chapters. It’s a good read, with a good ending. The plot twists I had mostly figured out in advance, although there was one that caught me by surprise, always a good thing. I didn’t catch any egregious story holes or editing issues, but that was mostly because Rob succeeded in pulling me into the world, and that is a very good thing indeed. Hard for me to lose myself in the story these days. For instance, I’d tried to read Matt Bracken’s Castigo Cay, and it feels… forced. I’ll likely come back to it later, but right now I’d sum it up for John Ringo fans as “that part on the boat in the bahamas, only without the kinky sex. But the guy is a hero in a black hat, so there’s that.”

Back to Muses of Roma, though. I loved the Belisaurius Series, and there are strong elements in this book that remind me of that. But even more… guys, this is not Firefly fan fiction that I can tell. But if you liked that show, you are going to love this book. It’s a curmudgeonly (but not that old) ship’s captain, trying to keep his ship flying, with a crew he’s fiercely loyal to (not that he’ll ever let them know that) and a heart of gold. It’s got infections, for the Mad Scientist in me, and a plucky kid, and… oh, yeah, the ship model name is Falcon (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

If you like your space opera to have Human Wave, then this one is it, because even more than one tiny crew fighting to survive, stay together, and care for a fallen comrade, this is about a quest to save the entire human race from slavery. They don’t succeed, but they take a step. And the characters grow, and are changed, by the events they have undergone. It’s a good read, and I enjoyed it. I hope you will, as well.