June 2, 2020

Friday Review: Searching for the Fleet by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

On sale on September 18th, and available for pre-order now.

One of the most amazing science fiction series in recent years now has an exciting new installment.

We’re talking about Searching for the Fleet, the latest chapter in the Diving Into the Wreck saga by Kristine Kathryn Rusch out September 18th, 2018 from WMG Publishing. Searching for the Fleet follows Captain Johnathan “Coop” Cooper and Engineer Yash Zarlengo and the crew of the Ivoire as they continue to salvage the spacecraft Boneyard known as The Lost Souls in search of the ancient mythical Fleet.

Think of the Diving universe as an exciting mystery saga, pitting the drama of ship salvage against the dangers of space. Yash and Coop were trained by the best ship diver in the business: Boss, who kicked off the whole saga in the first novel, Diving Into the Wreck.

The Diving series is a unique and intriguing tale of science fiction, and Searching for the Fleet is a worthy addition to the saga. At the heart of the series is the anacapa drive, a spacecraft engine that allows ships and crew to pilot through foldspace and jump immense distances in real space.

What I really love about the world-building in the Diving Saga is how the lost technology of the anacapa warp drive isn’t fully understood, and how we get a glimpse into just how temperamental they truly are in the current series installment, Searching for the Fleet. Though these drives give the modern Fleet dominance, they’re feared at best… and misused at worst.

The anacapa drive is actually a unique way to tackle the standard science fiction writer’s conundrum of faster-than-light travel. What if we really did gain an FTL capability that we didn’t fully understand? The anacapa drive is one of the most innovative science fiction plot devices since Frank Herbert’s spice-fueled Guild Navigators in Dune.

Searching for the Fleet actually gives us some interesting new perspectives on the origins and functioning of the valuable anacapa drives, as the story flashes back over thousands of years… though the mystery only manages to deepen, as we discover that even those who maintained the anacapa drives back in the older days of the Fleet (think thousands of years ago) didn’t fully understand them, and these units become even more strange and mysterious.

But I won’t venture beyond that, lest I introduce any spoilers. I’ve enjoyed following the Diving saga, and would put it up there with some of our all time faves, including The Quiet War and The Strange Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack. Really: it’s that good! Be sure to read Searching for the Fleet for an exciting new dimension in the Diving universe.

Fans and readers of this site and The Diving series will recall our reviews of Skirmishes, Boneyards, City of Ruins and the book that started it all, Diving Into the Wreck.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is one of the most prolific writers in science fiction, fantasy, mystery and more. Be sure to check out our reviews of Masterminds, Starbase Human and The Peyti Crisis.

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