Title: Phaethon | Author: Rachel Sharp | Publisher: Pandamoon Publishing | Pub. Date: 2016-12-20 | Pages: 224 | ISBN13: 9781945502170 | Genre: Urban Fantasy & Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of this book from the author for review consideration as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team
Hacker couple Jack and Rosie crack technology, but the newest device, the Phaethon, isn’t like other phones. The parts are junk, yet it can do the impossible. Though gentle prodding and data theft, they learn it’s powered remotely…by a living creature.
Cracking the Phaethon enters them into a war. Some, like Calthine, the bitter Bogle, are on their side. Others are controlled by a new type of fae; the bosses of the Phaethon corporation, who have steel for eyes and iron for souls. Now, the hackers have to fight creatures they’ve never heard of to save the friends they’ve just made.
Phaethon was one of the better books I’ve read this year. It’s a simple, uncomplicated story. The main characters are friendly, caring, relatable, and pleasingly snarky. Even the bogle. (Maybe especially the bogle?) What can I say? I love an honest smartarse. It’s also fast-paced, contains an interesting adventure, and doesn’t require anything from the reader except enjoyment.
I loved the easy mixing of fantasy and science fiction in Phaethon. I was able to very easily suspend disbelief and sink into the story the author was wanting to tell. When certain LED-laden individuals got introduced into the story, I might have had a small flash of Transformers. (However, considering I rather like them, that wasn’t exactly a bad thing.)
Rachel Sharp has a way of putting things that states the truth and makes you snicker at the same time. Like the following statement about horses.
“People could be assholes, too, but when horses were assholes, one had roughly a half a ton of asshole to contend with.”
Of course, her insults in Phaethon could be pretty good too.
“Get with the times, you bloody nuisance fish-hags! The iron bastards will make calamari out o’ ye! CALAMARI!”
I actually recommended this book to one of my best friends shortly after I finished it. (She’s a fantasy fan and hates dark stuff and most sci-fi, so we often don’t have any books to mutually adore.) It was nice to be able to toss another book recommendation her way. As I told her: “Phaethon is so light, it’s practically floof. BUT it’s entertaining floof with a side of good versus evil!”
I will say that while I might be willing to read more in this series, I don’t see a lot of potential in it. It was a fantastic stand-alone novel, but I’m not sure how it would work if she tries to draw it out. Still, she’s obviously talented, so if anyone can make it work, she can.
If you’re looking for an undemanding read that will entertain you and lift your spirits, look no further than Phaethon by Rachel Sharp.