Cover Image: Finder

Finder

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Member Reviews

Lots of fun! An excellent addition to collections where sci-fi is popular, with crossover appeal for some HS collections.
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Disclaimer: I received this book from netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Finder

Author: Suzanne Palmer

Book Series: The Finder Chronicles Book 1

Rating: 2/5

Recommended For...: sci-fi, heist

Publication Date: April 2, 2019

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 400

Recommended Age: can't recommend, dnf-ed

Synopsis: Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.

His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia's Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He'll slip in, decode the ship's compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.

Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a gas-giant-harvesting colony called Cernee. But Fergus' arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger's enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly--and inconveniently--invested in the lives of the locals.

It doesn't help that a dangerous alien species thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following Fergus around.

Foolhardy. Eccentric. Reckless. Whatever he's called, Fergus will need all the help he can get to take back the Sword and maybe save Cernee from destruction in the process.

Review: I had to dnf this book at 42%. It was a bit too disjointed for me and there was a lot going on in the book. The book also didn't have a lot of world building in my opinion and it was hard to figure out what was going on with the characters when it was near nonstop action.

Verdict: It wasn't for me but it might be for you!
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"Finder" eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Suzanne Palmer (http://www.zanzjan.net). This is Ms. Palmer's first published novel and the first in her "The Finder Chronicles" series. 

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future. The primary character is Fergus Ferguson who identifies himself as a 'finder'.

Ferguson's latest job is to find and steal back the spacecraft Venetia's Sword. He thought it would be an easy job, but instead stealing the ship back from Arum Gilger takes the deep space colony of Cernee into civil war.  Ferguson finds himself reluctantly at its midst and the growing involvement with the lives of the locals is unexpected. Then there are the mysterious aliens with the triangle ships that seem to be following him. The job is not what he had anticipated. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 397-page science fiction novel. I enjoyed this novel. I liked the offbeat plot and look forward to more in the series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
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Even if his name is stupid - “Fergus Ferguson “, really? , this is a very interesting character.  Everyone else in the book is interesting too.  The plot is not that surprising, but it’s well done.
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Fergus Ferguson is on his way to repo a ship fraudulently bought from some friends running a shipyard on Mars. Gilgar took off with the ship to the edge of human controlled space and is on his way to control everything around that colony.  Fergus joins forces with an algae farmer colonist hat has secrets of her own to figure out how to get close to the ship to send a door key program to take over the ship. Fergus has amazing luck and uses it to his advantage to get the job done. A fun book and I can’t wait to see more about Fergus and his adventures. 

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGally.
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It starts off slow and kind of dense, but once the action begins, it's hard to resist the story as it drives forward. It reads as a true epic, one that makes you feel the world really has been reshaped as you read it. Would recommend.
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Fergus Ferguson is a repo man.
In space.
How cool is that!?

In this incredibly action-packed tale, we follow him as he tries to recover the stolen spacecraft, Venetia's Sword. He ultimately tracks the ship down in the farthest reaches of human-inhabited space but due to complications, is unable to commandeer it right away.
Arum Gilger, the bad guy who stole the ship, transported it to a harvesting colony called Cernee. There he functions as a sort of criminal overlord and the locals aren't happy with him or his bullying ways. 
As Fergus arrives, the colony finds itself newly engaged in a civil war. Before long, Fergus ends up banding together with Gilger's enemies and participating more than he would like in their local battles.

I had so much fun reading this book. Palmer's world creation is incredible. I felt like I was part of the action which is literally, NON-STOP!!! At times, I was a little lost, I have to admit but once I refocused myself I was able to catch up pretty quickly.
Fergus Ferguson is a smart, creative, humorous, engaging and humble main character. I absolutely loved him!! I cannot wait to read more adventures with him at the helm. 
There were great side characters in here as well who had well fleshed out personalities and motivations. I think this is a great start to a new series and y'all know, I will definitely be coming back for more!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group/DAW, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I know this series is going to keep getting better and better and I am totally looking forward to being along for the ride!
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*I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. *
DNF @12%

This is one of those times where reviewing is painful. See, the concept is interesting, the big picture here is interesting, but for some reason I'm not interested. It sucks, because I can totally see why some people will be really into this. 

He's a repo-man in space, there is a kick-ass granny and her family that may or may not be clones (idk I didn't finish the book!), and everything on this planet is funky and weird (in a good way). It even starts off well, no slow beginning here. I'm sure that from just reading the first three chapters, I could sell this book to someone who likes sci-fi. Believe me when I say I keep second guessing myself when I think about all the cool things that have happened thus far.  Unfortunately, every time I pick it up my mind wanders or I find myself skimming. 

I think this might be a problem with this not being a book for me rather than not being a good book. There are a few people I can think of off the top of my head who might enjoy this, and I'll recommend it to. If you like quirky sci-fi you should give this a try.
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I enjoyed this fun, sci fi, action story. My rating 4.5.

Fergus is a “finder” which is basically a glorified, trained repo man. He once was considered a hero having saved many lives during an incident on Mars. But he has always suffered survivor’s guilt as the rescue was more the result of a blunder than intended action. Fergus moves along in life as a loner, long since having determined not to get involved with people. He has found that his luck in finding things tends to come with a side of mayhem to those around him. Accordingly, he likes to get in, complete his job, and get out.

Fergus’ current assignment is to retrieve a stolen airship. The ship was specially programmed not to allow outsiders or pirates. However, a brutal trade warlord, Gilder, posed as a buyer and stole the ship during a test flight. Gilder is using the ship to take over a space colony, Cernee, where his burly enforcer henchman is eliminating the leaders of the various communities which are part of the colony hub.

As Fergus approaches Cernee, he meets a wiry, feisty old woman who saves him from death in the cable car they are on. The explosion and ‘Mother’s’ last wish pull Fergus into the middle of the local power struggle. Just outside the colony are hovering alien crafts which keep the locals in fear as they occasionally capture people and return them with unexpected ‘gifts’ and powers.

Fergus makes a few tentative friends… more appropriately allies to help him accomplish his mission. The rescue plan goes far afield which is not uncommon for Fergus’ wild plans. Before he can secure the ship and return it to the shipbuilders he has to face the aliens, rescue an ally’s daughter from Mars and help the locals survive the threat of Gilder.

I totally liked Fegus as a loner who can’t help but rescue others around him. His plans are unconventional which make for fun diversions such as bouncing ball decoys and holographic sparkling pogo airsticks. The characters who step in to help Fergus are interesting as well. There is plenty of action and good humor. The problems that Fergus creates for himself are frustrating and it is not clear how he will get around them in the future. Still, I found the story creative and engaging. I would enjoy more in the series. I recommend this to readers who enjoy fun space adventure.

Source: NetGalley.
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It had an interesting premise, and I liked the main character, but after a promising start, the story seems to meander without much purpose.  All of the scrapes the main character gets himself into and out of (mostly), don't really accomplish much.  I thought it relied too much on a "Deus ex Machina", in the form of mysterious powers given to him by mysterious aliens for mysterious reasons, to resolve the main goal of the story.
I'd like to see what the author does with this character in the next book.
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A future repo man Fergus Ferguson just wants to find the stolen spacecraft Venetia's Sword and steal it back. Unfortunately, he finds the ship in a far corner of the galaxy where a buch of bad things are about to happen. A fun adventure with a likable hero.
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Excerpts from my review at B&N:
Finder, the debut novel from Suzanne Palmer (winner of a 2018 Hugo Award for the novelette “The Secret Lives of Bots”), is a fast-paced, hugely enjoyable sci-fi adventure—a rollicking ride from a hardscrabble space colony at the outer edge of the galaxy to the conflict-ridden settlements of colonized Mars and back again, with stops on the way at an alien spaceship and a holiday planet laden with glorious beaches.
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For fans of adventure sci-fi, Finder will engage and entertain. The dialogue snaps and crackles, the blend of real-world science and sci-fi tech is inventive, and the motley cast of characters both helping and trying to thwart Fergus in his mission are truly memorable. The deft worldbuilding and complex character motivations only make it more satisfying—there’s really no reason a novel this funny needs to be this well thought-out, but it’s all the better for that.

The ending satisfies, but leaves a clear opening for sequels; Palmer’s website indicates there is indeed a second Finder novel in the works. I’m glad to hear it: after reading the first one, I’m ready to follow Fergus Fergusson on whatever weird space adventure he falls into next.
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This can be billed simply as: the wacky adventures of a space-traveling repo man! While not my typical read, Palmer does an excellent job world building and lore building in this space adventure. Finder has a very likable protagonist, war, aliens, and fresh feeling conversations. Would be interested in reading more from Palmer!
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"Finder" by Suzanne Palmer is a terrific space opera adventure with a very likable main protagonist, an involved three dimensional war and aliens. Some might think the novel is overstuffed (and it is), but Palmer pulls it off by keeping the story moving, the situations fresh and the characterizations true and clear. Light and breezy, full of likable characters and chicanery. It’s a con, it’s a reverse heist, it’s a war and it’s got alien contact and alien meddling. But it’s a big fun read and that is its why it should be on your list. 



There are two main parts to the novel.



Arum Gilger, is a crime lord who has carved out a position of power in a deep space harvesting system colloquially called Cernee, which is loosely run by an appointed Governor. Palmer has populated the small space area with colorful habitats including “Leakytown”, the “Wheels”, “Blackcans” and “Halo”, which soon feel like part of our world and with a bunch of oddball inhabitants that cannot abide with the central government. The system has three main powers - the Vann family, a family of female clones who are lichen farmers, Harcourt a smuggler and tycoon, who is ably assisted by Bale, and Gilger, who has designs to run the system. Gilger's evil henchman is Borr Graff, a member of the fanatical Faither clan, who hate clones. Harcourt, cannot move against Gilger directly because Gilger has threatened Harcourt's daughter, who is at school on Mars. The main station between the various habitats is Central, which is connected to the other habitats. Gilger, however, has stolen a sentient spaceship from the Shipmakers of Pluto and now has more power to force the issue and take control of the system. 



Dropping into this shaky system is Fergus Ferguson, a conniver and an irrepressible "repo man" from Earth, who has been hired by the Shipmakers of Pluto to recover the Venetia's Sword, the stolen sentient starship. After a run in with Gilger's forces, who attack Mother Vann, the matriarch of the Vann family and Ferguson at Central, Ferguson tells the family that he is there to reclaim the ship which will hurt Gilger's operation. Fergus will also get help from Mari, one of the younger Vanns



As part of his elaborate con to steal back Venetia’s Sword, Fergus will pose as Mr. Anders, the head of a fake technological firm and "invent" a device to read light waves to see what happened in the past, as a way of showing who orchestrated the attack on Mother Vann. The scheme is designed to make Gilger move the Venetia's Sword so as to block the device. And to get past the sentry drones and mines protecting the ship from theft, Palmer laughingly has Fergus manipulate "sex toys" and tennis balls and use them to destroy the drones. The scene to take control of the Venitia’s Sword is some really good reading. And Fergus shows yet again his smarts and willingness to take risks.



But it’s not all fun and games, because Gilger attacks the system hard and Fergus intervention cannot prevent the ensuing war for control. And just when the action gets intense, the Asiig, the alien race that has been dogging the system in their technologically advanced starships makes an appearance. Harcourt thinks the Asiig are there because of Fergus, but the answer is more complicated. But Fergus is saved by the Asiig and changed as well. 



It seems the Asiig have morals about who to help and who not.



The second half of the novel involves Fergus and Mari’s efforts to help the Vanns, Harcourt and the other inhabitants of the system after he has been “altered” by the Asiig and to thwart Gilger. There will be a trip to Mars where Fergus and Mari has to find Harcourt’s daughter before Gilger’s goons harm her. Fergus past during the Mars rebellion will come in handy and so will Fergus’s power to zap people from the changes that he received from the Asiig. Like I said the novel is a little overstuffed.



Space opera seems to be making a big push back against the fantasy dominated shelves of the local bookstore, and this novel is at the spear head of this new wave of space based novels. The biggest issue I have with the novel is its length. Its not a page thing. Its just when you think the action is over, some new item rears up, but it is such a fast read that each episode only adds to the overall story. So while I think the whole Mars part of the story was not completely necessary, it helps Fergus to discover what was done to him and ties off other loose ends. Plus it give us a respite from the actions around Cernee.



In the end, Fergus will return to Cernee with Bale and Mari to return the fight to Gilger and to take back the Venetia's Sword which is still stuck in Cernee space. It will be bloody and hard but a lot of good scenes.





Suzanne Palmer’s debut novel may have a few flaws but she has invented a world, system and characters that are well worth visiting.
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This was okayyyy. It actually made me think of a book trying to be like an episode of Firefly without being obvious about it, if that makes sense. I didn't dislike it, but I wasn't in love with it, either. It was a good, standard sci-fi story, something that would go well at the beach or on a flight, but nothing that really makes you think like Neil Gaiman or Neal Stephenson novels do. Maybe it's all in the name. Recommended for some brain candy adventure.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll just preface this review by saying that I don’t read a lot of sci-fi. So my depth of knowledge and reading analysis might be a bit limited in this review, but now at least you’ll understand why I say that the first five chapters were boring to me. I couldn’t get into the narrative at all. It was like pulling teeth. I requested the book because it has a super cool premise, but as I was reading the first few chapters, I was wondering over and over why I picked this. I was literally about to pull the plug and move on with another book when I saw a review from B&N that was GLOWING. What was I missing?!

Turns out that the action doesn’t really start until chapter 5 (IMHO), but I’m a bit concerned about that statement because literally the first chapter is our main character getting his transportation blown up. There was a detachment in the writing that took me out of the action. Luckily, I was able to find my way back into the book because it gets action-packed very quickly.

Fergus is an interesting character in that he’s lived a adventurous life. He was born on Earth, specifically Scotland, runs away to Mars and starts an uprising against the colonial authority, then runs away from his problems after that (aka guilt) and becomes a repo man. In this case, he’s tasked with stealing back a ship that was stolen by a gang leader. Turns out that Furgus’ timing is impeccable in everything he does because in the process of stealing back the ship he also finds himself in the middle of a civil war among the various factions of Cernee. Fergus always chooses the right answer. He should have died at multiple points, but he always chose to align himself with the right people or make the best choice at the last minute that saves himself and others. Is he a Marty-Sue (Mary-Sue) character? Hard to define for me, but everything just seemed to work out for him, which I did not find endearing.

Cernee is an interesting place in the galaxy. From what I understood, it wasn’t exactly a planet, more like an interconnected set of tubes and tech where people lived. Maybe some sort of rock formation, but definitely not planet sized. Wish there was a diagram or map in my ARC! The first people we meet are a family of clones, who are very private within the colony. The fact that they are living beings is in itself a threat to some of those who live in the galaxy and within the colony. There is also the overarching Authority, and a couple of other factions that live and generally get along with each other. It’s a small community, but somehow once Fergus gets there he stirs up a bubbling rivalry between factions.

Cernee is also a host to a bunch of interesting side characters. As I was reading, I was simultaneously more interested in them than I was Fergus, and yet, also wanting more from them, such as Mari (a clone), and a faction leader named Harcourt. There was a point where they decided they needed to go to Mars to rescue Harcourt’s daughter, but when the threat was issued against this person’s safety, I didn’t think it was a credible threat, yet the characters acted like it was. It just seems like it was something to make them leave the planet, but as I was reading I wondered about these characters motivations. They were rescuing someone that was not mentioned before and had no connection to Fergus or the action. It was frustrating.

Overall, I did like the book. I would recommend it to sci-fi fans, I just wanted more out of it. I wanted a sense of urgency from Fergus’s perspective, especially with the alien Aiisig threat, which I think would have placed the reader directly in the action, rather than removed from it. I also wanted to understand more of the reasoning behind certain decisions. That being said, the action is fun and I did enjoy the scenes where everything is going wrong, but turns out OK in the end.
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Finder is an action-adventure space opera done right, filled with death-defying acts and sheer luck by our thieving protagonist. There’s never a dull moment as we cycle through fight scenes, devious plots, and the nearly impossible task of stealing and delivering the payload. It’s a fun time and I enjoyed going along for the ride.

Every piece of the puzzle fits together well. You’ve got the tough, confident repo man with a surprising past who has the know-how to get himself through a heist. You’ve got crime bosses vying for a piece of him as he threatens their hold on their small corner of space. You’ve got an impossible mission that just might work out. And there’s a mysterious alien race always on the periphery. 

From the first moment, the action never stops. The plans continue to get more unbelievable, leaving you somewhat amazed this guy is still alive. He’s incredibly resourceful and luck is definitely on his side. The constant plot excitement is equally fueled by a strong story and great worldbuilding. I love a good action story, and this one keeps you going page after page.

Overall, Finder is the kind of space opera that fits the genre well. With a quirky protagonist, an interesting cast of supporting characters, and a universe filled with secrets and surprise, the book is a win-win.
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After trying a couple times, I just can't get into thr story, so I'm going to put it aside for a bit and try again later. Putting it as back to "want to read" in Goodreads.
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This review was originally posted on  Books of My Heart
 
Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
 
3.5 hearts
 
Finder may not be the first book in a series but I had sort of first book syndrome.  The first half had me struggling to put it all together and then it was off like a bullet to the end! I did really enjoy it then.

There are many things to like.  The world is science fiction, space opera with some different species even.  I like the technology and gadgets which come with this type of story. The people aren't all good guys or bad guys; there are definitely a range of badness.  As is typical to the genre, there are those who want the power, control and money.

Our main guy, Fergus Ferguson, is a finder. He goes to locate and hopefully retrieve the missing.  His current job is to find and get back a ship to the rightful owners.  Space is a bit like the wild West so he will have to steal it back.  This area, Cernee, is in the midst of a civil war of sorts between its major players.  There is plenty of strategy, action and thrills!

I really appreciate the humor infused into the otherwise grim situations. The reflection on humanity and purpose also shine through as some events spin out of control.  I hope we will see more of Fergus and his friends.
"Not too many people Mari trusts," Harcourt said, "much less likes."

"I don't think she trusts me," Fergus answered, "and I'm entirely certain she doesn't like me."

As Mari and Bale walked in, Fergus cleared his throat. "All of you know that my plans tend to be ridiculous and go wildly wrong and weird in unanticipated ways, right?"

"Mari was kind enough to entertain us with the story of your sex toy tennis balls, so I think we have the gist," Ili said. "Do you have a plan or not?"

"I do," Fergus said. "No one is going to like it."

"I never expected we would. Tell us what you got."
 
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TW: Suicide

A Scottish, interstellar repo man encounters mysterious alien spaceships, Martian weapons dealers, a family of near identical women and more in this wonderful debut from the Hugo-Award-winning Suzanne Palmer.

Fergus Ferguson is a finder, sent to retrieve stolen items. His latest job? Steal back the spaceship Venetia’s Sword from ganglord Arum Gilger, who is slowly taking control of an entire section of space, a colony called Cernee ruled by five rival fractions. As soon as Fergus arrives, Arum attacks his cable car. In a fast-acting chain of events, civil war soon follows. Even worse, an unknowable and dangerous alien species keeps doing flybys.

Finder was so much fun! The pacing is great, very fast but never feeling too fast. Like, it keeps you turning the pages and still finds space for character development. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump but I think Finder got me out. I also appreciated some subtle moments of humor — like Fergus’s tendency towards alliterative cover names.

The world building is also so great. Finder takes what’s a huge universe and basically narrows the focus to a small, distant patch of human habitats connected by power lines. These power lines also serve as transport cables connecting the different habitats, hence the cable car Arum attacks. I’ve read so many books set in space, but I’ve never seen anything like the set-up Suzanne Palmer has going here. I love the smaller-scale. Cernee is a complex community but also closer knit than what we tend to see in science fiction, which usually operates more on a planetary/galaxy type scale.

Fergus could easily have fallen prey to the tired trope of “man broods over a dead woman in his past.” Fergus left behind a mother obsessed with the past the loche was swallowing for Mars, where he became involved with a resistance movement in which his best friend was eventually killed. But the entire novel calls out that attitude in five seconds flat — his best friend made her own choices. Fergus’s character arc is learning that he’s responsible for his own life, and others are responsible for theirs.

Fergus could potentially fall prey to “man broods over a dead woman in his past” but he gets called out on it five seconds flat. the novel is basically Fergus learning that he’s responsible for his life, and others are responsible for their lives. If the people around him chose to risk themselves, it’s their choice.

Least you think Finder is one of those male-dominated sci-fi novels, the main supporting character is Mari, a rebellious nineteen-year-old girl who longs to escape her confined life in Cernee. Mari’s family is a bit of a mystery — they’re algae farmers who are all women. And all nearly identical to each other, just separated by age. Fergus immediately assumes they’re clones… but a family member offhandedly mentions they’re not. Mari’s family is one of the most intriguing parts of Finder.

Oh, and don’t worry. There’s no romance between Fergus and Mari. They develop a prickly sort of friendship, with Mari fighting to be taken seriously and not as a kid who needs protecting. Actually, there’s no romance or even hints towards it in Finder. Five cheers for platonic sci-fi!

Overall, Finder was a great space adventure. It was just so much fun, and I look forward to whatever Suzanne Palmer writes next.

I received an ARC with the expectation of a free and honest review.
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