Space Trippers is space opera at its finest.
The book takes its catchy name from a device that was invented for the specific purpose of transporting ones enemies unharmed through a space warp to some uncharted part of the universe without the possibility of them ever returning to their original coordinates. This gives new meaning to the old adage: Out of sight, out of mind!
Aurora Lightbourne is a PC Tech with an excellent knowledge of electronic devices and computers which she uses to infuse uncanny life into her creations. Her style is very easy to read and has a nice flow to it. She certainly has a good command of the English language and knows how to build up the necessary intrigue and drama to keep the reader turning the pages.
Being a female author, Lightbourne has added a number of strong female characters to her narrative: The by-the-book military Captain C. Fairbanks and the book’s main character Valesque Rhaugh - a strong-willed, independent thinking, no-nonsense taking female Virrilian. One might even surmise that she is an extension of the author herself except for her physical appearance which is very much vampirish (Pale skinned and fanged). Valesque is a brilliant scientist who has constructed a state-of-the-art spaceship named the I.S.A. Magellan; she is also, although regretful of it, the inventor of the space tripping device.
The narrative starts off by introducing us to the environment of the Space Trippers viz. the characters, the technology and the politics that have led to the raging intergalactic war that has caused bitterness between Valasque’s race and the humans who are now known as Earthians. An unfortunate (or perhaps fortunate) chain of events have forced her to flee from her own people and reluctantly assist the Earthian controlled Intergalactic Planetary Alliance (I.P.A.) when they illegally commandeer her ship; even changing the name to the I.P.A. Vortex. One can compare this to a roller coaster ride - a slow build up as we ascend to the top but then from the end of chapter four onwards it’s non-stop action and adventure all the way to the last enthralling page that will have you panting for more in Book 2.
The characters are all well-developed, and there are a number of scenes rife with sexual tension and some with humour that even had me laughing out loud.
If you like stuff like Firefly, Ice Pirates or, and especially, the Star Trek series Voyager, then Space Trippers is definitely a must-read.
Given enough time, I expect that Lightbourne’s Vortex will become as well-known as Lucas’ Millennium Falcon or even Roddenberry’s Enterprise.
(reviewed the day of purchase)