A&A Reviews: The Magnetar by Jo Boone

The Magnetar (The Combined Service Book 1) (Theogony Books)

A planet-wide cataclysm destroys one humanity’s oldest colonies: billions of people perish on Fortuna, and Charlie is almost rescued before she dies. A stranger shows up after she’s been dead for 15 minutes and claims to have an experimental protocol that might bring her back. She’s whisked away and wakes up months later in a hospital on another world with gaps in her memory, a name that’s not really hers, and a tattoo that means she has somehow enlisted in a multi-species military outfit: The Combined Service.

While she has no memory of enlisting, at least the Combined Service–consisting of  humans, octopus-like octopods, four-winged avians, and the terrifying gu’ul–will allow her to get off that planet and home to look for her family, if they survived. So when the Combined Service’s newest ship, The Magnetar makes port there, looking for new crew, she signs on… even though she’s barely recovered.

But first The Magnetar is on its way to Sol Gateway, just inside Earth’s home system, to pick up a terrorist prisoner and return him to Octopod space. And the Ninth Arm terrorists will stop at nothing to rescue him and destroy The Magnetar.


I simply have no words to describe how marvelous this book is on every level: Great characters, sublime worldbuilding, amazing plot and characters. It’s a can’t-put-down, rip-roaring, unabashed space opera that will steal your heart. Parts of it gave me the sense of wonder and awe that perfect science fiction always provides, sometimes I cried, other times I cheered. Don’t miss this book. You’ll be catching the debut of a future science fiction Grand Master.


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