Attention, Firefly fans… if you’ve not yet heard about Mike Brook’s new scifi novel, Dark Run, this is going to be a short one — not so much a book review as a Grab-a-Copy-Now book recommendation. This is the first book in the Keiko series, Keiko being the name of the ship manned by as motley a crew as Serenity. A crew that’s just as dangerous, full of secrets, and often on the wrong side of the law.
First, there’s Ichabod Drift, captain. He’s a rogue, and very dangerous to those who cross him or threaten his crew. His second-in-command, Tamara Rourke, is beautiful, dangerous, and a complete mystery to the rest of the crew. Pilot, Jia Chang, flies the ship, and her engineer/mechanic brother, Kuai, keeps it fueled and running. Muscle is provided by the towering Maori named Apirana Wahawaha who has a gangster past that he’s fleeing and the cold and calculating mercenary Micah van Schaken who is along for the ride as long as there’s a payment at the end. And rounding out the crew is the newest addition, Jenna McIlroy, who has some serious hacking skills and has been promoted to Ship Tech in a hurry.
After some downtime involving a bit of bounty hunting, the crew is getting restless. Thankfully, Captain Drift has a job. It’s a Dark Run. An exact time and place has been set for delivery of a secret cargo to Old Earth, and the Keiko cannot be encountered at any point during the delivery by customs, other ships, and especially by any governmental agencies. The ship’s captain has a rule — you don’t ask about a crew member’s past. Plain and simple. For this reason, the Dark Run gets very interesting as motives and past histories are forcefully revealed and the crew members must decide who they can and cannot trust.
Dark Run is a 340-page non-stop page turner. From the moment the captain takes the job, the story doesn’t let up. That’s about all I will tell you. No spoilers. No hints. Just a pure scoundrel-centric tale that is worthy of the Serenity crew and will make any Firefly fan smile. Dark Run is getting some serious attention for its characters, the story, and the quality of the writing; you won’t be disappointed, but you will be anxious for the next book, Dark Sky, that isn’t scheduled until March 2017.