Hello dear reader(s) and welcome to another instalment of Nessa reads books and writes reviews (NRBWR). Today I’m going to introduce you to one of my favourite SF adventure series written by Mike Brooks. Brook’s Keiko Series so far consist of 3 books: Dark Run, Dark Sky and Dark Deeds and hopefully more are coming. *fingers crossed* If you’re wondering what this series is all about here’s a best one-liner explanation that I’ve read in this BookRiot article:
If Firefly and The Expanse had a love-child, it would read something like Brooks’ Keiko novels.
So if you miss that TV show (like we all do) and still hold a grudge against FOX for cancelling it, you’re going to love the Keiko Series and the motley crew lead by captain Ichabod Drift and his partner Tamara Rourke.
The series’ focuses on the jack-of-all-trades crew of the space ship Keiko. Throughout the series Brooks tells the story through the point of view of various crew members. In Dark Run, the 1st book in the series, we get 2 points of view (POV): captain Drift’s and Jenna McIlroy’s – she’s the crew’s resident tech genius. Dark Sky, the 2nd book in the series, gives other members of Drift’s crew a chance to tell the story through their eyes. So Apirana Wahawaha the Maori from New Zeeland and the crew’s resident muscle and Drift’s partner in crime Tamara Rourke (who in my head is played by Danai Gurira who plays Okoye in Black Panther and Michone in The Walking Dead; don’t ask why it is what it is 😀 ) get to tell the story along with Drift and Jenna. Dark Deeds, the 3rd book in the series, gives the Chang siblings Jia (the pilot) and Kuai (the mechanic) POV chapters along with the newly recruited Alim Muradov (first introduced in Dark Sky).
The variety of characters who come from different places, different cultures, have various levels of education, speak different languages gives their point of view chapters an interesting flavour. All of these differences, like various spices, enrich the story, make it more interesting and realistic. They contribute to its fast pace and help the reader connect with the characters. It’s cliché to say that there’s something for anyone in a book/movie/TV show, but that’s true for the Keiko series. Every character might not be your cup of tea or an instant role model or idol, but they are very likable and easy to connect with. The character’s stories feel realistic, like whatever happened prior to coming on board the Keiko and becoming a part of Drift’s crew could happen to anyone in your life.
Additionally it’s so refreshing to see a series that uses different languages and shows the characters whose mouther tongue isn’t English speaking their native languages. I’m not saying that half of the dialogue is spoken in another language, but e.g. Drift is of Mexican decent and he has Spanish lines, including some interesting swear words “Me cago en la puta!”. 😀 The Chang siblings speak Mandarin and there are some lines in that language, Apirana has some Maori phrases and so on. Another amazing thing is the inclusion of a Muslim character, Alim Muradov, and how his religious requirements e.g. prayer 5 times a day, affect his daily life in space.
Likewise the whole series is infused with humour and sprinkled with references to the “classics” as you can see from this quote that cracks me up every time I remember it.
‘Our chief weapon is surprise,’ Drift commented gleefully, ‘surprise and fear.’ He waited, but there was no sign of comprehension dawning on anyone’s face. ‘Really? Have none of you studied the Classics?’
I could gush about the awesomeness of these books and the amazing characters ‘till the cows come home, but I kind of like the fact that this is truly a short and sweet review. So let me give you a few closing remarks and my recommendation. 🙂 If you like SF, fast paced adventures with diverse characters and sprinkled with copious amounts of geeky humour you’re going to adore the Keiko Series! If you’re a Firefly fan and looking for something similar to that TV show look no further than the Keiko. If you’re new to science fiction in general give the series a go, you’re going to love it! Its diverse cast of characters, fast paced story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, humour and Mike Brooks’ brilliant writing are the ingredients that make an amazing story. 5 stars all around. Read it, you won’t regret it! Until next time dear reader(s)!
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