Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Disappeared

The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch was originally published in 2002. My paperback copy is 374 pages. The Disappeared is the first of Rusch's Retrieval Artist series. The series is a mystery novel set in space; it's part detective drama, part science fiction. I'm currently reading the second Retrieval Artist novel and while it appears that you need not read this first novel to enjoy the others, for those of you who like to read series in order, this is the starting point. The interaction between humans and different aliens based on the inter-species laws and agreements is an interesting concept and Rusch does a good job integrating the science fiction and the detective work in the book, resulting in an interesting novel, and hopefully, series. Rating for science fiction fans: 4

Synopsis from back cover:
"In a world where humans and aliens co-exist, the future can be altered forever.
In a world where murder is sanctioned, the rules of humanity no longer apply.
In a world where no one can guarantee safe haven, one man has found a job.

Retrieval Artists help the lost find their way back home...whether they like it or not. Specialized private detectives, they investigate the most unusual crimes in the galaxy. But Miles Flint isn't a Retrieval Artist. He's just a cop, trying to do his job.

In a stolen space yacht, three people have been found eviscerated - the grisly signature of an alien vengeance killing. Moments later, the border patrol halts another ship launched out of the moon's orbit - it's passengers are two human children, kidnapped by the most ruthless aliens in the universe. Both ships are linked to a woman on the run - a Disappeared relocated to the inhospitable landscape of Mars. A reluctant outlaw with a bounty on her head and a detective on her case, she's about to teach all of them a lesson: it's dangerous to gamble with your life in a universe that rigs the game."

"She had to leave everything behind." opening sentence

"She had to get him out of here and quickly. He couldn't be here when they arrived, or he would lose everything too." pg. 2

"She was taking her first steps on a journey that would make her one of the Disappeared, and she could not see where she was going." pg. 8

"In Gararin, home schooling was not an option. Children had to learn how to interact with others - the governing board had made that law almost a hundred years ago, and despite all the challenges to it, the law still stood. Someday Jamal would have to entrust his boy to others - and he wasn't sure he could do it." pg. 10

"The bodies....I've never seen anything like them." pg. 24

"They got caught because they didn't understand how important it was to be reborn as someone else. No baggage, no past life, nothing except the person Disappeared Inc told them to be." pg. 39

"She had been given a slight chance to save herself. Now she had to figure out how to use it." pg. 49

"What're the odds of two space yachts of the same make and model arriving on Armstrong with no identification and possible criminal involvement?" pg. 144

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