by M. Pax
Craze is the name of a Verkinn barkeep on the almost forgotten planet called Pardeep. Pardeep has a distinction in that it is directly adjacent to a Lepper, or stargate in space, which you would think could stimulate business. Well it needs a little help. The planetlord is a whack-a-mole character named Pauder who is always in full PTSD mode with a bazooka. Pauder is not sure that he wants Craze dream of successful business to succeed if it will mean more people coming to his world.
The cast from the first 2 books is back: Meelo the Fo’Wo snitcher, Dactyl the squat ex-lawman, Rainly the sort of android woman and several others. No less than three subplots are occurring in this addtion to the Backworlds series. Something that I love in world building is when humans are genetically altered to survive an environment rather than a planet terra-formed. The author does not disappoint in this area or many others. I’m glad to see that the characters are actually growing.
There is a new Verkinn female introduced in this work, Kesaere, who may be a bit of a villain but I hope to see more of her character in future works. She might be just what Craze needs. I had fun in this one, especially when I figured out what happened to the Jixes. I hate Jixes. Also, with all this flitting about I think it is time to flesh out how ships like the Sequi and the Olvis actually get around and have some encounters in space. Anyway, four out of five satisfaction points for this one.