Barbary Station, by R.E. Stearns Rothdas book review RSS
3.0 Stars
11-4-2020

Decent! A dyad hijacks a ship going to the outer colonies, thinking that this prize will be their ticket into joining the pirate gang that has taken over Barbary Station. The Situation on the Station is not what they thought however, and instead of a rich pirate playground they find a failing habitat, divided between various factions and controlled by the station's mis-firing and psychotic maintenance AI. The pair spends the next 400 pages navigating loyalties, investigating mysteries, and trying to find a way to return the station to human control.

In general I liked the book; there's nothing too exceedingly skilled or clever, but everything in it kind of moderately works. I both liked and disliked the many sections about navigating the failing station, where travelers are moving between various ruined levels of the interior of the ring as well as along the outside. On the one hand, it had a neat sort of parkour/urban navigation feel, on the other hand it was difficult to translate the 3D situation into text and make it fully understandable. I did like the dizzying contrast of space with hull, I did like how close the vaccuum always was, I did want to know more about the larger situation in the solar system. Oh! And I liked the use of "Student Loans" as character motivation, e.g. why did you decide to become an adventurer and raid deadly dungeons full of monsters? Student loans man, student loans.