Verdict: Author Henry Mosquera presents a world as colorful as the book’s title promises, making BACKSTABBER’S BLUES a wonderful adventure for readers, a world contained on one’s lap.
The Rock is exactly what it sounds like: a hunk of dirt and dust inhabited by only the universe’s most disreputable: thieves, pirates, and assassins inhabit the Rock, evading the law’s grasp on other planets. It is only appropriate, then, that a ghost ship, Cora, carrying perilous cargo makes a fiery crash landing here, presenting a unique opportunity for a prominent local physician.
For Dr. Dune to relieve the Rock of the Cora’s controversial freight, he knows he will need a crew. Enter Manuel Montana, a human Scrapper with bionic parts and a friendly sidekick drone; Arash Folen, a quietly brilliant—and mouthwateringly sexy—engineer; Frankie the “Scrap Doll,” the cyborg human-turned-sex-bot (Montana’s lucky find in a scrapyard, restored by Folen); Draedax Braal, a rugged Rhegglar chef; and Sheer, a Noctam woman with a powerful combination of leadership and brute strength. Together, they must navigate a dangerous galaxy to complete a criminal trade . . . one that can grant them incredible wealth, or offer them death itself.
Author Henry Mosquera presents a world as colorful as the book’s title promises, and the Acheron’s crew is a heady part of that color. Whether the ship’s crew happens to be smoking a joint in the ship’s galley, guzzling El Jefe and cheering on strippers—or, in Frankie’s case, complimenting their high heels–they’re always offering a bright, lively contrast to their deadly circumstances. Lest you forget the seriousness of their mission, though, a battle is likely to erupt at any moment, interrupting the momentary cheer to test the strength of the crew’s collective grit—and their bond.
Mosquera’s strengths, however, can sometimes be his weaknesses: the lengthy action scenes that compose the plot sometimes go on too long, and bogging the reader down with page after page of details regarding every punch, kick, and gunshot. Mosquera concentrates his talent in times of battle, but his prose most sings in the ordinary moments in between.
BACKSTABBER’S BLUES is a wonderful adventure for readers, a world contained on one’s lap. Though occasionally sundry details wear, boarding the Acheron with the ship’s lovable crew is a true pleasure, moving and hilarious in turn.
~Katy Major for IndieReader