A cavalier ship’s captain, an autonomous computer program in a mechanical body, and a young Venusian woman who made a few wrong turns come together on an unintended mission to stop an up-and-coming resistance faction. Earth is not the economical or politic center of the solar system in this futuristic depiction, but the slave of the Mars Colony. The people of Earth want their planet and their freedom back and some groups are willing to go to drastic lengths to get it.
From the outside looking in, Captain Maddox and his crew of two would rather stay out of the mess they find themselves in. Maddox approaches every situation with a flippant attitude and keeps an escape plan in his back pocket, but there is a nobler side hiding beneath the aloof exterior. Ezri, once the nanny program for a rich brat, is a version of an android with her ownership rights turned over to herself. Maia, originally believing she was in a great get-rich-quick scheme, is a young woman tainted by years working in a space port, but is naive to the nasty ways of the big, wide universe.
The story is intriguing and you find yourself drawn to these main characters and hoping they make it through to the end. They find themselves in a puzzling, twisted scheme no one could foresee. In some places, the writing is a bit verbose – a few words too many to describe the scene or action (and a little bit of repetition now and then) but forgivable as the story goes on. The plot is captivating and includes aspects of terrorism, AI, and exploration into political and social expectations.
I like the uniqueness of this story within the genre, and appreciate a chance to give it a read. It was worth buying. I hope future installments of Fleming’s works find him fine tuning his style, which is loaded with wit and detailed planning.
Fine Children of Earth on Amazon.