Publisher: Tor Books
Author Links: Website | Goodreads
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
I could totally slap myself for not reading this sooner.
The premise of this story is that Andy Dahl and a group of his friends, who all work aboard the starship Intrepid, start to notice a troubling pattern happening on the Away Missions.
And they aren't the only ones who've noticed...
Does everyone know what a Redshirt is?
On the off-chance you aren't a Star Trek fan, and maybe haven't been exposed to the term before, let me explain where it came from.
On every mission, Captain Kirk, Spock, Bones, etc. would get beamed to some uncharted planet to discover...something. But, of course, our main characters never beamed anywhere by themselves.
They always took Ensign So-n-So (wearing his red shirt) with them. And, inevitably, Ensign Redshirt ended up as cannon fodder.
Death by exploding rock!
So, after watching the show for any length of time, you knew what was going to eventually happen to anyone who happened to be wearing the wrong color in an uncharted area of space.
Death by zappy-beam!
Which is hilarious when you're watching re-runs and playing a drinking game!
But maybe it wouldn't quite so funny if the Redshirts were real characters?
Although, I laughed my ass off at Andy and his friends the entire time I was reading this, so that blows that theory right out of the water.
I wasn't all that surprised that I thought this was funny, but I was really surprised that I was totally invested int he plot. And there is a plot! A really good one!
And the ENDING!
I did not see that twist coming, Mr. Scalzi. Well done, sir!
Alright, so what happens is...hahahahahahahaha. No. I'm not telling you anything.
Go get this book if you wanna find out what makes this story so special.