“Perilous Waif” by E. William Brown
Every once in awhile a book comes along that just surprises the hell out of me and draws me in. It could be the characters, it could be the prose, it could be the world-building, or it could be the plot. When it’s a combination of all of these the book just becomes all that more special. My friends and I have similar tastes, so when I give a book 5 stars on Goodreads they can pretty much take it for gospel that it’s good. “Perilous Waif” is all that and more.
I’m not going to go into too much depth about the book, but suffice to say that if you are a Sci-Fi junkie who loves Space Opera like me then you’ll probably enjoy “Perilous Waif”. Technology, space combat, drone warfare, cyber-espionage, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence are all at play in the book, but don’t dominate the plot. Alice, the titular character, is both a bad-ass and oddly vulnerable at times, confident and hilariously (sometimes embarrassingly) naive. I was afraid that Alice would turn into a “Mary Sue” type character, but the writer managed to just barely avoid that.
Of course, if you’re as big a sci-fi consumer as I am, parts of the plot do become formulaic and predictable. But that’s okay. At no point did I stop reading and think, “Huh, that’s just like X happened in Y.” A book is more than just a sum of its’ words. E. William Brown obviously put a lot of thought and effort into writing and editing “Perilous Waif”, and my only real complaint is that I’m going to have to wait several months for the next book.