Ava Majestic works for a company surveying planets for possible future colonization. But more than that, she is the rightful heir to an alien device which Augustus Agnotico, an egotistical billionaire, seeks to add to his collection. Oblivious to the existence of the device and the reason why Agnotico has been harassing her, Ava goes back to work exploring the planet Tangerine, cataloging the lifeforms and identifying any potential hazards. But she soon discovers the truth and comes to recognize the connection between her and Needle, the man sent by Agnotico to keep track of her.
Tangerine is an engaging science fiction story with elements of mystery and suspense. The world-building is top-notch, and writing team Wodke Hawkinson do a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, especially Ava and her cat-like companion, Pisk.
The first half of the novel is dedicated not only to this world-building and character development but also sets up the mystery. The nature of the device and Ava's connection to it are closely guarded, leaving the reader to wonder along with Ava exactly what is going on; even Agnotico doesn't know what the device is, only that he must possess it. Once the mystery is revealed and the characters are set on the paths they must follow, the novel moves along briskly, and I found it incredibly hard to put down, wanting to know if and how the things they were doing would have unintended consequences.
Science fiction lovers will enjoy the imaginative descriptions of this future world, its technology and alien creatures, but these things don't get in the way of the progression of the story by any means. There is even a touch of romance, and I think book lovers of any stripe will enjoy this one.
Tangerine is available both in print and as an eBook from Amazon. Click here for your copy.
Check out Wodke Hawkinson's website here.