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Diving Into The Wreck (book 1) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

01/06/2012. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Diving Into The Wreck (book 1) in the USA - or Buy Diving Into The Wreck (book 1) in the UK

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pub: Pyr/Prometheus Books. 299 page enlarged paperback. Price: $16.00 (US), GBP10.64 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-59102-786-7.

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Firstly, I should point out that author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is using ‘ diving’ as the aquatic metaphor for examining derelict spacecraft. Considering we call space vehicles ‘ spaceships’, seeing the vacuum of space as a sea shouldn’t be that much of a surprise although it only really disguises the term extra-vehicular activity. Although Rusch’s future period has no date, I do wonder if a 20th century metaphor would still be used in the future.

‘ Diving Into The Wreck’ is a first person narrative by Boss, her only name, and her discovery of an ancient Dignity Vessel spacewreck, light years beyond its range. She returns with a team that gets seriously depleted when they encounter stealth technology and Boss is forced to hand it over to the military. She discovers this stealth technology is similar to that of another spacewreck with what contains the Room of Lost Souls, as very few people who have been inside get out. Boss and her father were the lucky ones and he explains to her that they both have genetic markers that protects them. The fact that with the first mission, Boss had only sent her team in met she hadn’t discovered this. She becomes agitated by her father leading a team to unravel this stealth technology for military use and gathers a new team to go in and destroy it.

There’s a lot more to the plot than the above but then we’d be into spoiler zone. Some aspects of this story feel a bit repetitious but considering that before being combined into this book, two chunks were short stories printed in ‘ Asimov’s Magazine’, this is hardly surprising. If anything, I’m more puzzled why Rusch felt she had to pad a few chapters towards the end repeating aspects of the plot and explaining intention rather than more of a build-up although that could be to fulfilling a certain number of pages or word count.

That said, this is a very involving story and you get carried along to find out what happens next. From a first person perspective, you are limited to only Boss’ perspective and there is no clue given as to why she is only known by such an unfeminine name. Although she has a female heart of concern and action, Boss could equally have worked as a male character with no one the wiser. Although not inherently wrong and probably the result of the original short stories, one can only assume that is the result of its source use.

With two more books to follow, one can only hope we see more of this reality and the dangers of this Empire and its desire to increase its military potential because we only get glimpses here. Worth an exploration.

GF Willmetts

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