Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: Captain's Share by Nathan Lowell

It's been years since Ishmael Wang rehabilitated the crew of the William Tinker, and he's still aboard the ship, though he's now first mate. But after his last trip, he's been surprised with an invitation to sit for his captain's ticket, and suddenly, he's got a dilemma. He's been offered a command, of the Agamemnon, the ship with the worst reputation of the whole fleet. Does he take advantage of his new rank, or should he stay on the Tinker, where he's already comfortable and which has a good crew? Or, does he give up life in space altogether, like his wife wants him to?
That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from
A good captain protects his crew. Who protects the captain?
A shuffling of cabins puts Ishmael Horatio Wang in command of the worst ship in the fleet. He learns that being captain doesn’t make you infallible and that life in the captain’s cabin is filled with new kinds of challenge as he tries to keep the ship moving, the crew out of trouble, and turn a profit to earn his Captain’s Share.
In a ship where the officers outnumber the crew, can he keep everybody happy? Welcome to the SC Agamemnon.
Captain's Share takes place roughly 10 years after the previous novel, Double Share.
My Thoughts
Captain's Share offers more of the delicious, close-quarters intrigue I've come to expect from Lowell's Trader Tales series. It's been some years since we've seen Ishmael, and his life has clearly changed. Now a man in his late thirties, we only see hints of the 18-year old he was when the series first began. He's still the same, but he's become more man than boy, and it shows. His life has taken a bit of a toll on him, but he's still the principled, decisive individual he's always been.
So when we see him in a captain's chair, fully in charge, it's great to se ehim continue to be himself while still being human. Ish makes mistakes. He doesn't immediately have the answers, and he still can't lie to save his life. We see the burdens of authority settling on him, and it affects his personal life too. All in all, this was a fitting continuation to Ishmael's story, if it did feel a little bit similar to the previous book, Double Share. Then again, the whole series has sort of been similar as Ish progresses. It's one man's story, and while there are always new challenges and conflicts, it's comfortably personal. There may be hints of repetition, similar themes between books, but it's not annoying, or retelling the same thing over and over. It's... like I said. Comfortable. These are great books.
Would I Recommend This Book? Highly! It's great to see the man Ish has become, and now we see some real significant decisions coming his way. I hate to think the next book is the last of this series, but I'm eager to read it anyway. I'm ready for some closure. I give Captain's Share a drifting 5 of 5 stars!
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