Ten Low – Stark Holborn

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

So yeah, *takes a deep pull on a dart* that was fucking amazing! Like I don’t even smoke bro, but here I am *takes another drag*. Yeah dude, that was gooood. Just give me a moment to put myself back together here… Alright, I’m cool, I’m cool… Yeah, so this was a gritty spaghetti western in grimiest parts of space. Every aspect of the book came together absolutely perfectly. I think I’m in the nirvana those lululemon yoga chicks in the tight pants talk about. Ommmmmmm. Fuck yeah!

Our main gal is Ten Low who is wandering the desert on this lawless wasteland moon. She’s a roaming medic helping all those in need. She’s got a ton of bad karma and is trying to make up for the sins of her past. Her name ‘Ten’ was given to her because that was the number of years in her sentence on a prison hulk ship. You don’t quite know what she did, but you knew it’s some real serious shit.

But yeah, this ship crashes and she rescues this kid, or so she thinks it’s a kid. Turns out it’s this cybernetically enhanced general from the opposite side of the old war. This girl looks like she should be out having a tea party with her doll Mr. Buttons, but she’s this ruthless badass commanding troops in vicious battle for years. Despite being enemies, Ten’s got a deep moral debt, so she saves the little brat rather than let these crazy cultists, the Seekers, come cut her up and steal her organs. These two team up as Ten’s trying to make amends for her past and the General needs Ten to make it off the planet alive. They’re not cool with the situation, but they need each other right meow.

The story is non-stop action as they go from firefight to firefight. They ally with a gang of badass G’hals to try to get the General off planet all while dodging the Accord military, robber barons, crooked marshals, crazy cultists, and this weird ass alien presence called the ‘Ifs’. Dude, I gotta adjust my pants just thinking about it again. But anyways, the Ifs are this kinda superstition. People believe they making bad things happen and feed on doubt and chance. They’re attracted to chaos and influence the world to feed off the chaos. Shit always hits the fan when they’re around and Ten has an inexplicable connection with them.

Anyways, on top of the sweet ass characters that evolve in your mind through the story, the whole atmosphere was beyond rad. Most definitely my favourite aspect of the book. We’re at the forgotten edge of the civilized galaxy and also at the edge of the universe and the Void. No one comes back from the Void and the Seekers worship it. Neglected by the controlling Accord but influenced by the Ifs from the Void. A gnarly setup dudes.

My gold star recommendation is to buy this book, grab some nice bevvies, find a comfy chair, and enjoy the mother fucking ride! Pretty damn simple. So bail on all your previous plans (not that you actually had anything worthwhile going on) and do this asap bros.

Anyways, that’s about all I got. Adios amigos!

Ten Low will be published on June 8, 2021 and you can pre-order a copy here. A huge high five to Stark Holborn, Titan Books, and NetGalley for the ARC.

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