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Book Note: Jamie McFarlane, Rookie Privateer

I read this book about 22-Jan-2017. [an error occurred while processing this directive] I've read this book before. The book is copyright 2014. This note was last modified Tuesday, 24-Jan-2017 14:15:59 PST.

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This is book 1 of the "Privateer Tales" series.

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This note contains spoilers for the book.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] I'm still in the process of reading this book.

Trying a new series, based on people who seem to be enjoying it posting online. Looks to be self-published (on Amazon).

It's in the solar system, no interstellar travel. The first-person narrator (Liam Hoffen) is a teenage boy in a mining colony. Lots of nice worldbuilding, we're not seeing 1950s asteroid mining technology here, and there's some social evolution as well.

Nations on Earth are competing for influence in the belt, with the US (I think amalgamated into North America) and China among the more powerful. There are major Martian settlements, and instead of becoming "adult", Liam takes the test and passes to qualify for Earth Mars Citizenship (EMC).

Then the pirates raid the mining colony.

Liam and some friends are key to driving them off, though they have already killed a bunch of people and they do succeed in stealing a bunch of stuff (including the ingots recently smelted from the ore of Liam's father's claim, a batch of unusual value). And they leave one ship behind (rather damaged, mostly by mining lasers).

Mars Navy does arrive eventually. The colony administrator has preferred charges against the kids, but a sympathetic commander (sitting as the court) disposes of those fairly aggressively. We aren't told the administrator was in on it, but the Sheriff was, and it looks to me like hints are there.

They also manage to enter a salvage claim on the ship, and even to apply, retroactively, for a letter of marque to justify taking the ship. Turns out the Navy really needs some people to be eyes and take small actions out in this area, and they think these kids (two, the third has headed to Mars to take the spot she earned in the Navy Academy) may just be it.

They get the ship fixed up, get a cargo, and head out just ahead of incoming pirate corporation ships, detouring to take out a pirate base on the way. They also end up taking another prisoner who was working for the pirates in the colony, and at the pirate base they stumble on the Sheriff and take him prisoner.

And manage to deliver the prisoners to the Navy on Mars, alive and reasonably healthy. Also they make some money.

Shortly after leaving the base they free a woman working with the pirates (against her will, she says), who has helped them, leaving her with a functioning ship. And the second book starts up overlapping slightly that scene, frmo her point of view; second book is her book.

 


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David Dyer-Bennet