Select one of the keywords
The Kassa Gambit    by M.C. Planck order for
Kassa Gambit
by M.C. Planck
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

M. C. Planck's The Kassa Gambit is an intriguing SF thriller/space opera that opens with the wholesale slaughter of colonists on Kassa, a small and innocuous farming planet. That unexplained violence brings together two unlikely characters, tramp freighter captain Prudence Falling who has a mysterious past and Lieutenant Kyle Daspar. The latter is a police officer from wealthy Altair Prime, who has long been working undercover as a double agent against the League that governs humanity's network of planets.

After Prudence realizes that something bad has happened on Kassa, she and her crew on the Ulysses (a commercial trading vessel) barely survive a mine attack. They land on Kassa and offer aid to the shellshocked survivors. Kyle Daspar is on the Launceston, a military patrol boat he had commandeered to follow up an anonymous tip. After they land, Kyle commandeers Prudence's ship to investigate what's happened on the planet. They find a small crashed ship that shrieks alien 'in the sheer incomprehensibility of its design.' And humans have not previously encountered aliens.

When others in authority show up, Kyle joins them and Prudence and the Ulysses go their own way. Each investigates different aspects of what has happened. There's an attempt on Kyle's life, and he considers the horrific possibility that someone in the League is working for or with the aliens. Clues lead him back to his own beginnings as an agent and his path crosses that of Prudence again. They join forces and are engulfed in war.

In The Kassa Gambit, Australian author M.C. Planck delivers a good story with a surprising plotline and appealing leads - it will be fun to see what space adventures he embroils them in next.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews