Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars.
Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life.
Humanity is apparently alone in the universe.
Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers.
Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren’t always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He’s been undercover so long he can't be trusted by anyone - even himself.
While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack. But something tells them there is more to the story.
Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.
©2012 M. C. Planck (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The Kassa Gambit is a fast paced mystery set in the far future where Earth is largely a distant memory and mankind has populated the galaxy by way of "nodes" that function like womholes. In all this time and throughout all the settled worlds, nary a hint of alien life has been glimpsed. Kassa is one such world where the population has been decimated by destruction from space. The two main characters stumble, independently, onto the aftermath and each begins investigating what is suggested as possible alien aggression. Both protagonists have backstories with secrets and each suspects everyone, including each other. Eventually, they must work together to save themselves and the rest of mankind from this menace.
The science is largely physics oriented with wormholes and interplanetary space travel figuring prominently. Biologically, people are pretty much the same (they're even still dying from cancer). The pacing is excellent with necessary infodumps skillfully inserted without bogging down.
The narration is quite good with an excellent range of voices, a good pace for delivery, and an overall mood that is perfect for the story.
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