*** This review originally appeared on Out of this World Reviews. ***
Vick’s Vultures by Scott Warren was a book I really wanted to like. The premise sounds great:
Victoria Marin, captain of the U.E. Condor, and her crew of Vultures have been running dry for months. In danger of losing her command and her credibility if she can’t locate fresh salvage, she locks onto the distress signal of an alien ship in hopes of valuable cargo. What she finds instead is First Prince Tavram, the heir apparent to one of the largest empires in known space. Tavram’s ship has been crippled after narrowly escaping an ambush and his would-be assassin is coming to finish the job.
Looking back, the story really is as good as it sounds. But where Vick’s Vultures fails miserably in its execution. The writing is ridiculously confusing. The characters are flat pieces of cardboard with minimal personality and little to no background or motivation whatsoever. The aliens are…odd, which is ok because, hey, they’re aliens and should be different from humans. But their personalities are as flat as the crew members of the Vulture. Toss in enough characters with no distinctiveness into a melee of confusing writing and you’ve got a recipe for a very quick DNF. I considered dropping this one at several points, but, for reasons unknown, I slogged through it. This is the kind of book that really drains you as a reader, and that’s just kind of sad.
Vick’s Vultures is the first in the Union Earth Privateers series. It is followed by To Fall Among Vultures, which I have already attempted to read at the time of this review. Stay tuned for my thoughts on that one. As for Vick’s Vultures, I just don’t have a lot of good things to say about it. It’s somewhat enjoyable, but you really aren’t missing anything by skipping it.