Under the benevolent leadership of the League of Peoples, there is no war, little crime, and life is sacred…unless you’re an Explorer. The ugly, the flawed, the misfit, the deformed, they are the unwanted, flung to the farthest corners of the galaxy to investigate hostile planets and strange, vicious creatures. Out there, there are a thousand different–and terrible–ways to die. Festina Ramos belongs to the well-trained, always-dwindling ranks of ECMs (Expendable Crew Members). Now she and her partner, Yarrun Derigha, have been ordered to escort the unstable Admiral Chee to Melaquin–the feared “Planet of No Return”– which has swallowed up countless Explorers before them without a trace. Obviously, this is meant to be the last mission for Ramos and Derigha. But it won’t be, if Festina can help it.
I had some extra credits at a local used book store and chose this one because I had purchased nearly every Trek book they had and the cover was lurid and lewd enough to catch my eye, then the synopsis on the dust cover caught my interest. It’s one of those classic science fiction stories that set hard and fast rules about their universe, then show you how to get around every single one of them. In this, it’s that Humanity has one rule: no murder, premeditated or otherwise, under penalty of death by nearly god like aliens that know all and see all. There’s some real goofy concepts in the book that I absolutely love, so if you check it out, stick around until they leave the ship for the first time, by that point I was personally hooked on the story.
It’s the first book in a series set in the same universe, but I don’t think there’s enough here for me to continue on with them. This is a great stand alone story and I enjoyed my time with it.