Finder

Finder

From Hugo Award-winning debut author Suzanne Palmer comes an action-packed sci-fi caper starring Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo man and professional finder.Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia's Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nob...

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Title:Finder
Author:Suzanne Palmer
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Edition Language:English

Finder Reviews

  • Gary

    One advantage of being an accomplished short story writer is knowing how to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t take Suzanne Palmer long to ingratiate readers to Fergus Ferguson, the hero of her debut novel Finder: he has an appreciation for ironic self-deprecation and for little old ladies who can survive out in “The Gap”, a sparsely populated region of space near the outskirts of the galaxy. Being nice to old ladies may be a cheap ploy for sympathy by the author, but it works, and it’s undeniably

    One advantage of being an accomplished short story writer is knowing how to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t take Suzanne Palmer long to ingratiate readers to Fergus Ferguson, the hero of her debut novel Finder: he has an appreciation for ironic self-deprecation and for little old ladies who can survive out in “The Gap”, a sparsely populated region of space near the outskirts of the galaxy. Being nice to old ladies may be a cheap ploy for sympathy by the author, but it works, and it’s undeniably efficient. No sooner are Fergus’ profession (a kind of interstellar repo man called a “finder”) and goal (to retrieve a stolen ship called Venetia’s Sword) and prospective enemy (small-pond robber-baron Arum Gilger, who stole the ship) established through his salty banter with tough-as-nails native Mattie “Mother” Vahn, than a escalating sequence of obstacles come cascading down in front of Fergus, and the novel picks up the breathless pace it sustains through the end. This narrative formula serves Palmer’s celebrated shorter works well, as her Hugo-winning novelette “The Secret Lives of Bots” can attest. Palmer’s writing doesn’t sacrifice subtlety or nuance, she just knows how to use such tools without disrupting the tempo. The pace she sustains in Finder mostly benefits it, and it’s so entertaining that the ways it falls short are easy to forgive.

    Fergus is a Scotsman, Earth-born but allied to the generations of Martian émigrés living under harsh earther occupation. He’d rather avoid bringing up his past: people know him as a hero of the Mars resistance even as far out as anarchic Cernee, a rock ruled by a loose confederation of chieftains and the loyalists in their employ. He doesn’t see himself the way others do, but he has a penchant for executing outrageous schemes to achieve his ends. The heist he must pull off to retrieve Venetia’s Sword is akin to jacking a smart car with a keyless entry, though getting past the ruthless Gilger and his enforcer Borr Graf prove to be the most harrowing part of his task: Gilger has chosen the day of Fergus’ arrival to make a play for total domination of Cernee. Now Fergus and his allies—Mother Vahn’s family of identical offspring who swear they’re not clones and Gilger’s longtime rival Harcourt—find their plan to put the squeeze on Gilger turned into a brutal fight for survival. Further complicating matters are the Asiig, a mysterious and terrifying alien race who mostly carry out ominous flybys over Cernee in their black triangle-shaped ships, abducting random citizens then returning them days later in, shall we say, a different state from how they found them. And the Asiig have taken an interest in Fergus and the conflict on Cernee.

    It would be an understatement to say Palmer has a gift for piling on the plot factors. That she can sustain such an approach over the course of a story that is something like a dozen-fold longer than the stories she usually writes is impressive. She takes a block-by-block approach to building her world and her characters’ back stories, distributing little bits of context clues and expository statements to brace up the larger context. This combination of depth and efficiency elevates Finder above the rabble of space operas that crowd the current SF marketplace.

    The story stretches out like a rubber band from Cernee back to Sol System and Mars, then snaps back to Cernee for the grand finale. This is the only element of the novel that didn’t sit well with me. I understand the author’s need to reconnect Fergus emotionally with his past on Mars, and while the reason she contrives to get him there is integrated into the plot early on it still came across as forced. There was perhaps also a sensible desire to liberate the action from the confines of a single location. I felt that the mcguffin Palmer uses to lure him back to his roots isn’t developed well enough beyond its functional purpose and is a non-factor once Palmer returns us to the main storyline.

    None of that changes the fact that Finder is a thrilling space adventure from an expert hand who loves the art of genre storytelling. There is so much happening with this setting and so much potential for growing it even more. It's also a welcome slice of madcap fun, full of rich, fully realized characters and delightful far future odds and ends.

    Many thanks to DAW Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  • Beth

    was not my typical read but I found myself captivated by this imaginative space adventure.

    Fergus Ferguson is tasked with retrieving a sentient space craft that was stolen from its creators and he finds himself thrust into a space war that only a mastermind could possibly survive.

    Lets just say nothing goes as planned by Fergus finds some amazingly loyal companions and some major life lessons along the way.

    Like I said earlier, the plot was nothing like I expected but I really enjoyed Palmer

    was not my typical read but I found myself captivated by this imaginative space adventure.

    Fergus Ferguson is tasked with retrieving a sentient space craft that was stolen from its creators and he finds himself thrust into a space war that only a mastermind could possibly survive.

    Lets just say nothing goes as planned by Fergus finds some amazingly loyal companions and some major life lessons along the way.

    Like I said earlier, the plot was nothing like I expected but I really enjoyed Palmer's storytelling. I found myself anxiously looking for more clues as we route for Fergus and his friends that he makes along the way.

    I received this ARC copy of

    from Berkley Publishing Group - DAW. This is my honest and voluntary review.

    is set for publication Apr. 2, 2019.

    My Rating: 4 stars

    Written by: Suzanne Palmer

    Hardcover: 400 pages

    Publisher: DAW

    Publication Date: April 2, 2019

    ISBN-10: 0756415101

    ISBN-13: 978-0756415105

    Genre: Scifi

    Amazon:

    Barnes & Noble:

    Itunes:

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Adventures of a space-age repo man! Review first posted on

    :

    Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” He’s running away from his past, for reasons that gradually become clear. But right now he’s focused on chasing something: an expensive, sentient spaceship, Venetia’s Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Arum Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This repo mission has led Fergus to Cerneken or

    Adventures of a space-age repo man! Review first posted on

    :

    Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” He’s running away from his past, for reasons that gradually become clear. But right now he’s focused on chasing something: an expensive, sentient spaceship, Venetia’s Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Arum Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This repo mission has led Fergus to Cerneken or “Cernee,” a haphazard space colony consisting of a ring station surrounded by a of hundreds of marginally-habitable rocks, metal cans and dead ships, all tied together with a web of cables, with cable cars running passengers between the various habitats. Here Gilger has his home base, one of the “big five” powers on Cernee.

    Fergus has a plan and a secret method of taking control of Venetia’s Sword, shared with him by the shipbuilders. But things go wrong for Fergus right from the start, when he almost gets killed in a cable car explosion in the space colony. It looks like Gilger isn’t willing to share power much longer. Fergus allies with Gilger’s enemies, who have their own issues with the power-hungry boss, and puts his plan into play, but there are complications … including some mysterious aliens with their own agenda.

    is part heist story and part rescue mission, as Fergus finds that he needs to return to Mars to save a kidnapped young woman who’s being used as a pawn in one of Gilger’s plots. Fergus is a hero who’s still finding himself, carrying wounds from his childhood on Earth and his participation in a rebellion on Mars years ago. He comes up with farfetched but brilliant plans on the fly, and it’s great fun to watch him run various cons on his enemies. One creative plan involving foil wrap, sticky candy, tennis balls, and vibrating sex toys is a can’t-miss experience.

    The brisk pace and almost non-stop action will keep readers engaged, but Finder has more depth than one might think from the plot description. The characters have interesting (and often mixed) motivations, and Suzanne Palmer has clearly put a lot of thought into her worldbuilding. Cernee is a complex setting, with memorable details like “flysticks” that enable riders to jet between the different habitats (Fergus manages to steal a flystick that fills the space around him with sparkles and glowing holographic cartoon images). The interlude on Mars shows us glimpses of a richly imagined society there as well, peeking around the edges of the main plot.

    I’ve been enchanted by Palmer’s short fiction, especially the Hugo award-winning novelette “

    .” I was expecting the same type of whimsical humor here, but

    is more of a straightforward SF action/adventure tale, which disappointed me, although there’s frequently humor in the dialogue and descriptions.

    is an imaginative and action-packed tale. The ending leaves a few open questions, like, what are those aliens planning anyway? And why did they do … that particular thing they did to Fergus? There’s plenty of room for more adventures and exploits to come for Fergus Ferguson, and Palmer has more books in this series in the works.

    Thanks to the publicist and Daw Books for the free review copy!

    Whoa! I just realized that this just-published SF novel - which has been languishing on my bookshelf of unrequested review copies - Is by the author of two of my favorite recent short stories:

    ( which won a Hugo award last year) and

    . Guess I know what I’m reading next!

  • megs_bookrack

    Thank you, Berkley Publishing Group!

    I am over the moon to receive this ARC (pun intended).

    I am a big SciFi fan but haven't read any Adult SciFi since last Fall (the shame).

    This one sounds action-packed and I am looking forward to getting to all 400-pages of it ((gulp)).

    Repo Men in space?

    Yes, please!

  • Sherwood Smith

    If you've ever been to Disneyland and ridden the original Star Wars ride (the one that seats you in a kind of cable car, and you begin floating along, then suddenly it jerks and takes a wild turn, begins to fall . . .) well, you'd have my visual image of this book.

    It starts out so pleasantly, as Fergus Ferguson, a big red-head, rides a cable car with an elderly woman who is carrying a bunch of crates of lichen to sell.

    A jerk, and things rapidly begin going wrong, setting off a wild adventure tha

    If you've ever been to Disneyland and ridden the original Star Wars ride (the one that seats you in a kind of cable car, and you begin floating along, then suddenly it jerks and takes a wild turn, begins to fall . . .) well, you'd have my visual image of this book.

    It starts out so pleasantly, as Fergus Ferguson, a big red-head, rides a cable car with an elderly woman who is carrying a bunch of crates of lichen to sell.

    A jerk, and things rapidly begin going wrong, setting off a wild adventure that keeps on accelerating until the very end.

    I loved this book. I adored Fergus, whose inventiveness just about matches his ability to get himself into trouble. I loved the people of Cernee, especially prickly Mari

    , Good-hearted, sardonic Bale, and a host of other characters. The villains you love to hate, the action is so vivid it's cinematic, and the humor frequently had me chuckling, yet it didn't diminish the rising tension.

    I loved this story, loved Fergus, loved Cernee--and loved the intriguing aliens, especially the Asiig. I really hope that Palmer intends to write more about them all.

    Copy provided by NetGalley

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