Author: Nathan Lowell
Length: 250 pages
In a genre that often relies too much on inventing new and spectacular foreign worlds, Nathan Lowell’s Quarter Share certainly has a down-to-earth feel. There were a number of times reading this book where I had to remind myself they were sailing through deep space, and not across the Pacific Ocean. That being said, Quarter Share is an incredibly immersive look into the life of a lowly sailor who has the gumption to make something of himself. The realism of the setting and situations certainly makes this science fiction story quite believable.
I do have to laud this book with the ability to be as close to wholesome as one can be without the entire plot being labeled “childish”. Unfortunately, this also ends up being one of my main qualms with it. Most of the characters don’t really have any flaws and the conflicts and situations that would arise from being together for long periods of time are nearly non-existent. In fact, while it was briefly mentioned as being a ship with strict “fraternization” policies, I was surprised that there wasn’t more exploration of the romantic aspects of the crew, especially due to its co-ed status.
Furthermore, the innocence and naïveté of the main character, Ishmael Wang, was a good way for the reader to become accustomed to the routines and rigors of life on a ship, but it left Wang feeling a bit flat as a character and not quite as well rounded as I would have expected given the circumstances. However, the strength, relatability, and pace of the story, despite having no discernable main conflict or antagonist, is so excellent that I look forward to eventually reading the rest of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper series when I can get my hands on it.
A solid piece of realistic science fiction, I give Quarter Share 4.0 stars out of 5.