If you take a look at the cover of Disa Dawn’s hopepunk adventure, Bounty, you’ll see it evokes a certain attitude. The “punk” in “hopepunk” comes through loud and clear. While you should never judge a book by its cover, in the case of Bounty, you certainly should. The book is full of the punk attitude the cover evokes, and brings with it a healthy dose of humour—exactly the kind you would hope to see, with over the top situations that play into the attitude perfectly.
The attitude Dawn brings to Bounty is a breath of fresh air, unlike most books you’ll see. From the opening sentence, it is at the forefront of the book, promising an experience that unique, designed to entertain the reader. This attitude, though, unfortunately also serves as the novel’s biggest drawback. It’s so full of colourful prose exploring protagonist Beju Byteborne’s world, Dawn’s narrative has a tendency of becoming lost within it. The reader is faced with a deluge of character—the bulk of which is enjoyable—that can make parsing the events difficult. Segments of the text don’t flow as nicely as they could; the sheer bombast interferes with the overall readability.
With all of its bombast comes a great sense of humour that is certain to have the reader chuckling. Bounty’s humour is anything but subtle, but whether it’s the characters, the situations, or even the prose, there is plenty that will put a smile on the reader’s face, plenty more that will elicit a chuckle, and a number of moments that will cause you to laugh out loud. If the punk attitude sets out to do one thing—and as the antithesis of grimdark, its hopepunk stylings—it is to ensure the reader has fun. From beginning to end, Bounty achieves this, telling a rollicking tale.
At 278 pages in paperback (or an estimated 281 Kindle pages), Bounty is not a particularly lengthy read. Throughout these pages, the author tells the story of Beju, condemned to death in the far reaches of the galaxy. In a bid to escape her fate, she takes a pair of hostages: meek page, Kitten, and soldier, Silver. Bounty throws in a slew of other characters, plenty of science fiction concepts and adds some romance for good measure. While the length makes for a brisk read, as the prose spends so much time on the story’s character, it doesn’t leave much space for its plot to develop.
Throughout Bounty, romance brews between Beju and Silver, which serves as a pleasant undercurrent to the book. While its blurb makes a point of promoting the romance, it remains a relatively small element of the narrative. If you’re a fan of romance stories, you’ll enjoy the aspect, but may be disappointed by the overall lack of focus on it. But if you’re a fan of bombastic science fiction, concerned that it will focus first and foremost on romance, Bounty features just enough for it to act as a subplot. The romance element works well for the story being told as well as its tone, and I found that it featured just the right amount to serve the overall story.
Beju is a delightful protagonist and an absolute joy to follow throughout the novel. Bounty is Beju’s story, and the character rises to the occasion brilliantly. Kitten is also a great character, and she bounces off Beju well. While Silver doesn’t fare quite as well as the other characters, he remains entertaining. Outside of the core trio, the other characters aren’t as clearly defined, but they serve their purpose. The characters’ dialogue entertains, with the characters bouncing off one another in entertaining and amusing ways. The character voices aren’t quite as distinct from one another as I’d like, but fit Bounty’s world and attitude perfectly.
As this is the first Beju Byteborne Interstellar Romp, as Bounty draws to its close, there is plenty more for the author to explore. The book stands alone well, though, ensuring the reader gets a complete tale. In many ways, the novel is presented like a “cosy sci-fi,” ensuring that while Beju’s adventures will surely continue, those tales will be new adventures, rather than required reading to enjoy this book.
While Bounty’s attitude overpowers its prose, Dawn has set out to tell a fun story, and succeeds. Full of fun characters and situations, its plot isn’t complex, but it provides a rollicking new science fiction universe. Distinct to most stories out there, not only does it entertain, but it does so uniquely.
Back when the Splicers were nothing more than a few bio-geeks tweaking, tuning, and twisting ideas over neutronic espressos and cosmic wafers, their monster waiting list had reached three hundred and fifty-two thousand buyers. It took a generation to perfect the splicing technique that culminated in Beju and her monster pack, but not without a generation of oopsies. Doctor Byteborne never labeled the failures mistakes or freaks or bloopers, as many of her colleagues did. She rarely used the word failure either. They were all her children, but she had no qualms playing mommy’s favorite or pitting one against another. Having stuffed their genetic code with all her motherly wisdom, observing her children squabble created an efficient means of assessing her wunderkind progeny and parenting prowess. Cycles of fine-tuning didn’t stop her children from bickering, battling, or biting. Beju least of all.Bounty: A Beju Byteborne Interstellar Romp, Book One, Chapter 10: “The Swing”
Bounty: A Beju Byteborne Interstellar Romp, Book One was provided by BookSirens for the purpose of an honest review
Bounty is available in hardcopy and on Kindle, exclusive to Amazon.
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Interested in purchasing Bounty?
Please find a link below; please note I do not collect any proceeds from the sale.Bounty: A Beju Byteborne Interstellar Romp: Book One (Beju Byteborne Interstellar Romp series 1)