It’s been a hot second since I reviewed anything, so when I got contacted to review what sounded like a very promising sci-fi book, I obviously said yes.
Salvaged comes out October 15th, and I hope you guys will consider reading it, as I really enjoyed it!
This review is plot-spoiler free.
Okay, so if you know me, you know I love a good sci-fi set in space. Space absolutely terrifies me, because I can’t firmly grasp how big it really is and my mind doesn’t like it when I can’t imagine things true to their scale. There are also so, so many things that could go wrong in space, and that is terrifying, too. Add into that that this story takes place in the 2200s and humanity is playing around with possibly fatal, definitely dangerous microorganisms, and it’s 100% my cup of tea. And guaranteed to make me anxious.
Salvaged blurb from Goodreads:
A WOMAN ON THE RUN. A CAPTAIN ADRIFT IN SPACE. ONE OF THEM IS INFECTED WITH AN ALIEN PARASITE.
In this dark science fiction thriller, a young woman must confront her past so the human race will have a future.
Rosalyn Devar is on the run from her famous family, the bioengineering job she’s come to hate, and her messed-up life. She’s run all the way to outer space, where she’s taken a position as a “space janitor,” cleaning up ill-fated research expeditions. But no matter how far she goes, Rosalyn can’t escape herself. After too many mistakes on the job, she’s given one last chance: take care of salvaging the Brigantine, a research vessel that has gone dark, with all crew aboard thought dead.
But the Brigantine’s crew are very much alive–if not entirely human. Now Rosalyn is trapped on board, alone with a crew infected by a mysterious parasitic alien. The captain, Edison Aries, seems to still maintain some control over himself and the crew, but he won’t be able to keep fighting much longer. Rosalyn and Edison must find a way to stop the parasite’s onslaught…or it may take over the entire human race.
What I liked
Madeleine Roux doesn’t skirt around the gory parts. Salvaged literally starts with our MC, Rosalyn, vacuuming up corpse sludge. It’s gross. The grossness doesn’t end there.
It’s also spooky. This book is literally about a sentient alien parasite trying to control as many humans as possible. That’s terrifying. Add into that that our MC is stuck on a stranded ship with an infected crew, and it’s enough to give anyone anxiety.
The story is told from multiple perspectives, which I always like. In my very honest opinion, books that have a singular narrator can get boring very quick, and I feel like you don’t get to know the other characters as much. In Salvaged every major character has its own arc, and I really enjoyed reading about them, and how they dealt with the parasite.
Another important thing I liked about Rosalyn is how she reacts to the situation she’s been thrust in. She’s a microbiologist and a space janitor. Someone who spent most of her time in labs, and later cleaning up space muck. While this is enough to give someone a slightly stronger stomach, it’s not enough to unrealistically portray her as the hero that can handle anything. And she can’t. She has her weaker moments, she cries, she gets angry. It makes her a very human character, and I appreciate that.
The story is also very fast paced. You don’t have to read a hundred pages to finally get into the action. It opens strongly, and continues from there.
What could be better
I feel like in the end, I didn’t get to know Rosalyn as much as I would like. I really enjoyed the flashbacks to past memories from the other characters, because it gave them a human aspect and helped me understand their personalities better. But while these flashbacks were sporadically present for Rosalyn, they just didn’t have the same effect on me.
I’m not yet entirely sure what to think of the ending. Without giving too much away, I thought there would be a little more “boom” to it. Maybe it was a little rushed? It also seems like there might be a set up for a sequel, but I’m not entirely sure about that. There are some loose ends I’d like to see tied up, though.