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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Privateer by R. Prior is a young adult sci-fi novel set in a distant future where humanity has mastered interstellar travel, enabling them to colonize scores of planets across the cosmos. Recently graduated from the United Earth Forces Fighter Academy, Tye Williams receives his first assignment as a crew member of the Carmody Class Cruiser, Rising Star. However, Tye's initial foray into fighting space pirates goes horribly wrong when the Rising Star is destroyed, and Tye becomes the sole survivor. Recuperating at the Jericho Station, Tye helps repel another pirate attack that has him rewarded with a Tiger Class gunship. Eager to carve out his own legacy, Tye assembles an elite crew to salvage and hunt pirates. But his relentless ambition will put him directly into the crosshairs of the powerful cartel head, Carson Del Rey.
An action-packed space odyssey from start to finish, Privateer feels like the Hollywood hit Top Gun set in space. Author R. Prior wastes little time in putting the reader into the midst of things and spins a fast-moving plot sprinkled with enough twists and turns to keep you wanting more. Tye goes through an absorbing character arc, where he starts out as a newbie fighting for the UEF and ends up leading an elite team of his own who respect their leader. The action sequences are vividly described, and they paint quite a picture in your head. There are plenty of thrilling moments, and none of them feels unearned. Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to sci-fi readers who love dramatic action stories set in space.