Theft Of Fire - book review

How much I recommend it: 5/10

By Devon Eriksen

I heard about this book from a post on X, someone was asking for the best science fiction books and this title came up in several responses. It was published last year, 2023, which is what caught my attention. I’ve read lots of sci fi books from the likes of Isaac Asimov and other 20th century sci fi writers but wanted to expand to more contemporary books to what types of futures are being imagined now.

Theft of Fire takes place mostly in space when humanity has became a multi-planetary species. A wealthy young woman essentially hijacks the spaceship of a space pirate and forces him to help her complete a mission to retrieve a valuable alien artifact from a distant planet. The woman is from an aristocratic Mars family and is heavily genetically modified to be physically perfect. It’s implied that she may be a descendant of Elon Musk or some other space-faring billionaire. The guy, the space pirate, on the other hand is a gruff, rugged, blue-collar man from Venus (if I remember correctly).

Perhaps the thing I least liked about this book is that these two characters are constantly fighting. This is a long book and probably 60% of it is dialogue between them in argument. Not a fan of that, I skipped ahead through quite a bit of this book for that reason. That fighting morphs into a love story throughout the book.

There is some interesting ideas in here such as an artificial intelligence that is trained off of a human being. A girl wears an implant from childhood into her teenage years and then when the implant is removed, it/she becomes stand along artificial intelligence machine with all the memories, feeling, and awareness of being human. It takes it/her most of the book to become comfortable with the fact she is no longer a biological person with a family and a human future.

Bitcoin is mentioned several times and is the currency of the worlds. That term is used a lot ‘worlds’ because there are multiple planets inhabited by humans.

Despite being a tech nerd I’ve never been super interested in space so for that reason this book didn’t have the appeal to me of earth-bound stories. But if you enjoy space stuff, this is a fun read!

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