I love a good detective story. I am not usually all that up on futuristic science fiction though. But give me a good murder mystery and an equally detective/ murder cop who gets thrown in the middle of an investigation and you have my attention.
Until this month, my go-to murder cop was Lt. Eve Dallas, set in a futuristic New York. They’re formulaic but there’s something about her that keeps me coming back. I feel that exact same way with Lt. Althea Johnson. The main character in S.A. Asthana’s new series, Seeds of Discontent introduces us to the police lieutenant. Living on the spaceship Starshot, she’s tasked with keeping the peace while maintaining the antiquated status quo on the ship.
The first chapter was the final story in Asthana’s second anthology Beyond the Edges. I remember reading those final pages and my introduction to Lt. Johnson and being interested in what happened next. Imagine my excitement when I discovered it was the first chapter of a book.
Reading Seeds of Discontent is easy. The book is short, but the pacing is smooth, quick and keeps you involved. The spaceship Starshot is a transport ship headed to a planet for the humans to inhabit. The trip will take longer than most humans lifespan so more than likely the grandchildren of the original passengers will be the ones who finally set foot on their new home. The ship is separated into 10 levels, with the first level being the rich and powerful and the tenth being the dregs of society. There are restrictions on where people can go, if you’re born on the fifth floor (the farming community) that’s pretty much where you stay your entire life. The police are one of the few people with access to all the floors.
A murder on the tenth floor causes a panic and Anthea is tasked with finding the killer and bringing them to justice. Along the way she uncovers something much larger than a simple murder. Something larger than the ship and something that could risk the already fragile harmony of the ship.
I devoured this in one sitting, it was that good. Asthana’s writing has held me through two anthology books full of horror, science fiction and the unknown. He’s done it again with this series. The second book, The Future Ones, is available for pre-order now, so when you finish this, head right over and click the link for book two.
Since Mother Nature has been lying to us over here, warm one day, snow the other. I’ve been doing nothing but reading. So, join me in two weeks when I review the second of my pre-orders, Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur.
Until then, stay warm friend. Get your blanket, your favorite hot drink and curl up with a good book.