Spacer's Bet

Fiction - Science Fiction
351 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Spacer's Bet by Bonnie Milani begins in the wide expanses of space, where Isfahan "Iz" Hauler Shojai, the pilot of the ship Shojai, must quickly respond to a surprise attack that threatens her crew. Battling their ship's extensive damage, they make it into RockPort, an outpost now controlled by the ruthless Moscow of Streiker. Amid the chaos, Kansas begins speaking an unknown language, recognized by Moscow, escalating their predicament. Meanwhile on Earth, Sgt. Tahoma Tso of Huachuca Search & Rescue is tasked with locating a missing Lupan, weaving his fate with Iz's. In a realm of complex political machinations, Iz and Kansas discover their status as Paradise Lottery winners is more than mere luck—it's a Commonwealth strategy for recruiting covert agents. Torn between joining this cause or returning to their previous lives, they choose the latter, aiming to leverage their new-found wealth and knowledge to survive and pursue their ambitions, while Tahoma uncovers a looming war linked to the Lottery and Streiker.

In Bonnie Milani's novel Spacer's Bet, the first thing that struck me was the world-building, which is outstanding. Between scenes like navigating through RockPort, where Milani beautifully describes the station’s operations, to descriptions of the Sonoran desert’s harsh conditions, the pictorial visualization truly displays Tahoma's challenging work environment. Of course, none of this matters if the characters are pedestrian, which nobody could accuse Milani of making them. Iz's ability to literally navigate through adversity as a strong, capable, and courageous female lead is the type of young woman I want my daughter to come across in what she reads. Milani gives Kansas equal growth and he evolves into the type of guy capable of evading the Derrakhti Sec. The writing is clean and fast-paced with unexpected twists that cleverly underpin the deceptive nature of the world in which they live. All in all, Spacer's Bet is a gem of a story, providing an exciting start to my journey with the series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and eagerly anticipate the next installment. Very highly recommended.