Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans by Sonya Rhen

Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans by Sonya Rhen
Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans by Sonya Rhen
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Full Length (318 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

When the Verity Aquinas crash lands on the way to a concert, the Shredded Orphans seismic rock band finds themselves stranded in the middle of the desert. Lix and the rest of the band must find their way back to civilization.

The Shredded Orphans are slaves to their job – literally. The galaxy is run by the corporate class and at its head is the Galactic Media Corporation. By night the band plays concerts, by day Lix and the group are on a secret mission to save the universe, one slave at a time.

Travel with the Shredded Orphans as they encounter ex-advertising slaves, unknown fauna and over-exposure to the sun on this “road” trip of galactic proportions.

Some slaves have record deals, but that doesn’t make them any less trapped by their circumstances.

The world building was well done. I particularly appreciated the time that was spent explaining how the characters’ assignments worked and what would happen to them if their popularity started slipping. It was a complicated subject at first because of how this society was designed to function, but the author soon laid everything out clearly. The scenes that showed the audience how it all fit together were by far my favorite ones in the story. They added so much depth to the plot and urgency to the main characters’ mission.

There was a great deal of dialogue in this book. Sometimes it slowed down the pacing of the plot because the characters spent so much time talking about what they were hoping to see or do in the near future. While I enjoyed hearing about their plans, it would have been nice to see some of the conversations condensed so that the plot could have moved along a little more quickly.

Not everyone in this tale is human. While I can’t discuss this in detail without giving away spoilers, I can say that I really enjoyed reading about the alien culture that was included and how it differed from human culture. Ms. Rheo’s approach to this topic was fresh and creative. It made me want to see what she might come up with next.

I would have liked to see more character development for the members of the Shredded Orphans. The physical descriptions of them were spellbinding. I wanted to get to know all of them better than I did, but the narrator only spent a limited amount of time describing their personalities, interests, and quirks. It would have been really helpful to have at least some information about what they were like as individuals, especially as the plot progressed.

The food descriptions made my mouth water. The characters were often hungry or in the mood for a snack, and nearly all of the meals they scrounged up sounded so delicious. I wanted to sneak into the storyline and try a bite of almost everything they ate on their adventures.

Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans is a good choice for anyone who likes playful science fiction.

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