Review of Beyond the Edge
The fourth book in the first season of the Wings of Earth, Beyond the Edge, has Captain Ethan Walker sitting in a good position. He’s acquired a second ship – the Elysium Sun – and is contemplating leasing the Sun out to another captain to increase his earnings. But first Ethan is offered a contract from a mysterious corporation to take a small group of colonists thousand light years beyond Coalition space. It’s too good of a payout to pass up. But as Ethan preps his ships, they are attacked by an equally mysterious terrorist organization – Red Wall – a group of isolationists that have apparently targeted Ethan and his ships. As Ethan and his crew pick up their cargo and get underway it looks like they’ve avoided any more conflict and settle in for a months long journey. That is until the sabotage happens. Now Ethan must use his wits, and a quite a bit of guile and cunning, to save his ships, crew, and cargo from a mysterious attacker determined to stop this delivery.
Once again Eric Michael Craig has delivered a pulse-pounding science fiction adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed Beyond the Edge for many reasons. The characters continue to grow and develop – not just Ethan Walker – who has a lot of changes happen in Beyond the Edge, but we learn many new things about all of the other characters and see them change as well. In the same way that a TV show’s characters start to develop and grow as the season progresses, Craig has been doing the same thing with the different characters in Wings of Earth. We learn more about Kaycee and Ammo especially in this story as the larger, multi-book story arc continues to be developed. And that’s another reason I love this book. On the surface this is a standard story involving a simple plot – deliver a group of colonists and their crew to a destination way far away from everything else and deal with the people trying to stop this. But Craig continues to weave in a larger, multi-book story arc that adds additional layers of intrigue and mystery to the basic plot. As you read, not only are you concerned about how Ethan and crew are going to get out of “this” mess, but you also start seeing that there is a lot more going on, and somehow Ethan and his people are in the center of it.
Eric Michael Craig has given us another thrilling episode with Beyond the Edge. I highly recommend this book (and the entire Wings of Earth series) to anybody who loves science fiction in the vein of Star Trek, Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica. The stories are first rate, the larger story arc deftly woven in, and the characters are real and full of hidden depths and new surprises.