Flying an old shuttle can be dangerous, but no one expects their luck to change in a heartbeat.
Lara’s years of rigorous training are evident in how calmly she reacts to everything that happens to her in this story. Her demeanor also gave me the opportunity to get to know her better as an individual in a very short amount of time. I finished this tale feeling as if I’d experienced a novella’s worth of character development because of how well Lara’s thoughts and reactions are woven into her flight.
Given everything I learned about the ship she is stationed on, the ending doesn’t quite seem to fit in with the scenes that precede it. While it wrapped up the main storyline it also prompted me to wonder why a decision that a particular character makes during it was not utilized much earlier on. In a novella information about why that was the best option for this particular situation could be subtly woven into ongoing conversation, but in a story of this length there wasn’t room for the plot development necessary to explain why that character made that choice.
Ms. Nix kept me on the edge of my seat. Every single sentence in this piece accentuates the rapidly building tension. What was even more surprising to me was how the brief flashes about Lara’s past and life outside of her occupation added to the suspense.
I’d recommend The Shuttle to anyone who enjoys military and hard science fiction. It’s a quick, rewarding read that I’m glad I picked up.
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