Rapier is a brilliantly blended recipe of old fashioned pirates, sci-fi adventure and tender romance. It is a story of honour and duty, a novel packed with space battles and brutal violence, and a tale of devotion and love.
Kathy Masters is without money having nearly everything she owned confiscated by the authorities. So she visits an old editor friend who will pay substantially for her incredible story. A story among the stars with Captain James Ulysses Black of the spaceship Rapier and armed with all the photographs and videos to validate her tales and provide glimpses into aliens that very few have ever seen or believed. The structure of the book is Kathy’s story being told of her journey into space, returning periodically in the narrative to briefly mention things to her interviewer but mainly to remind the reader that something has happened that she is no longer with the crew of the Rapier. The unknown fate of the pirates adds to our sense of doom and anticipation with each chapter.
Kathy reflects back to when it all started. She was a photographer heading into space for the first time to photograph new planets, new life forms and new discoveries. Her ship is attacked and she is taken hostage along with a child Cindy, who has just lost her parents and who Kathy effectively adopts. Rather than sell the 2 females, the Captain argues to keep them as crew and treat like family. These are two wonderful female characters that develop a loving protective relationship as they learn the ways of Privateers – basically pirates with a conscience. The connection between Kathy and the Captain is palpable and elusive.
The story is wonderfully depicted by R. A. Correa in such vivid language that the reader is drawn into the plot, surrounded by a crew that feels like family with characters that are uniquely painted, and the underlining precarious threat to life as they battle throughout the galaxy. The losers don’t typically survive in this world.
The galaxy is controlled by previous nations from Earth, like the Chinese region, the American region, the South African region etc. and they don’t suffer peace easily. Captain Black lost his wife and child to an attack from the Chinese on his home region of Safe Port, wiping out 99% of the population. The mayor of Safe Port now has Black sworn to avenge the city under the Letter of Marque and Reprisal.
“It’s a letter issued by a government to private citizens, authorizing them to conduct raids on enemy commerce.” “What government authorized that?” he asks. “The government of Delta 5 Gamma, more commonly known as Safe Port.”
I started the book thinking I’m not buying a Captain that runs around with the stereotypical swashbuckling costume, a sword and language that goes back to the Spanish Main. The strange thing though is that before too long that feeling disappears and the story is totally engrossing with a deep connection to the characters and the space adventure in raiding merchant ships (primarily from the Chinese region – payback). There are moments that I felt convenience slipped in to assist the plot, and the supporting characters and crew always behaved impeccably for their Captain.
I would highly recommend reading this book and would rate it 4.5 stars. I wish to thank R.A. Correa for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.