Originally published on Kindle Vella, The Omegastar Connection by Kase Glidewell tells the story of mercenary Lance and his sidekick, the android Cee. Upon arriving at a spaceport, they take on a job, escorting the son of a corporation’s shareholder home. From this point, plenty of twists and turns impact our lead characters, and plenty more are caused directly by them.
Described on the blurb as a “cyberpunk space adventure,” The Omegastar Connection certainly has trappings of both genres. It feels a little loose to be strictly categorised as a cyberpunk story, however. While it features many of the genre’s hallmarks, including mega corporations, dirty cities, body modifications, androids, and grossly invasive advertising, the author has kept most of this to an aesthetic level. The result is a story that captures much of the surface level feel of cyberpunk, but doesn’t dive into themes such as the abuse of corporate power, or a decaying society.
However, this leaves the last two words in the above description: “space adventure.” And, boy, is this ever a space adventure. The Omegastar Connection hits the ground running, opening with Lance and Cee’s ship having to escape an asteroid belt; the damage taken resulting in an emergency stop at the nearest planet. The plot quickly kicks in, where our protagonists seek work. Soon, they are tasked with their job, which leads to action, heists, and more action.
At an estimated 221 pages on Kindle (at the time of writing, the paperback has not yet been listed, so I can’t provide a hardcopy page count), The Omegastar Connection is a brisk read. This length works well for the book, which keeps the plot moving at a fast pace. The story rarely slows, which works well: as stated above, it is a space adventure, and it is a pulpy one at that. The resulting effect is a story that moves through its plot, providing beat after beat, entertaining the reader as it throws the next twist at them while already building to the next set piece. From the outset, it builds momentum, and it doesn’t let up until the end.
With its focus so squarely on keeping the story moving forward at its pace, Glidewell doesn’t spend much time on developing the characters. The characters throughout are fun, from the two leads to everybody they meet along the way, but the book doesn’t do much to develop them. There is a healthy amount of banter, and this is often fun, but these characters are never pushed emotionally, and there are no real character arcs to speak of.
Much of the dialogue throughout felt stilted and, at times, this pulled me out of the story. In these instances, the conversations felt wooden. While each character has their distinct voice, their dialogue often felt unnatural. A large part of this can be attributed to The Omegastar Connection’s pulp sensibilities, and a lot of lines sound like they could come from an action movie, but at times, it felt more awkward than it should have.
The prose throughout is clear and easy to read, which helps the story keep its forward momentum. It conveys all the cyberpunk trappings I mentioned earlier in the review and puts the reader right inside the world. It navigates the balance between the plot, the action and the surrounding world (or, worlds, given everywhere these characters visit) well, and never finds itself lost in its prose, while not rushing through anything.
The proofreading in the book has been largely handled well, though I did spot a few typos in the book. This is not a major issue, and these issues were rare, but they were noticeable. There are also a number of grammatical issues with the incorrect use of punctuation, so if this stands out to you, consider yourself warned. Another round of editing could have helped the book, however. As mentioned above, the dialogue doesn’t feel entirely natural, and as clear as the prose is, the book includes a number of redundant words, making sentences clunkier than they could have been.
If you’re a fan of pulpy science fiction, The Omegastar Connection’s fast moving plot and its sense of adventure offers a lot to enjoy. It includes a lot of cyberpunk hallmarks which add to the world, however if you prefer your cyberpunk to dig into its themes of power and corruption, you may prefer a more grounded story. While it could have benefitted from another round of editing to clean up the prose, it is an enjoyable space adventure.
“Thank you for your payment, mechanics will begin working on your ship soon.” The 500 flashed a bright blue multiple times, while images of confetti flew up on the screen behind the number while the sound of party blowers played. The robot finished it’s annoying celebration and bobbed away from them.The Omegastar Connection, Chapter 1
The Omegastar Connection was provided to the author for the purpose of an honest review.
The Omegastar Connection will be available in paperback and on Kindle, exclusive to Amazon, from 1 April, 2022..
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- Amazon – Review to be published upon the book’s availability
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