Cover Image: The Scavenger Door

The Scavenger Door

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Member Reviews

The first two books in this series were fantastic. I'm happy to say I think this one is even better. Great characters, terrific twisty plot, mesmerizing premise. Highly recommended for people who enjoy a satisfying series, and SF fans who enjoy scavenger hunts.
Full review on my YouTube channel
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My video review of The Scavenger Door:

A strong conclusion to the series. I wish it had been longer than a trilogy, but I thought that The Scavenger Door did a good job bringing back characters from previous books and bringing Fergus's story to a close. The MacGuffin and stakes felt a little contrived to me, but I enjoyed the journey and the characters, and the humor in the writing.
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I am not sure what it is, but my ratings have been lower on each book in this series.  Could it be because the first one was so action-packed with the explosion in the opening chapter, and then a gang war of sorts happens, and Fergus using an array of trickery to get him out of the crazy situations?  I think that precisely what these following two books have missed the action and excitement and funny gags are just not hitting home.  In this third book, Fergus is back on earth, and he agrees to find some lost sheep; there, he uncovers some alien tech that leads him on a chase to collect them all.  Their some emotional reflection going on throughout the book of where his life is going, and he is working on his relationship with his sister that is now back in his life.   I just felt rather bored with this third book and am unsure if I will continue to try and give this series more time; maybe if we go back to the excitement of book one, that would help.
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This review was originally posted on <a href="" target="_blank"> Books of My Heart</a>

<i>Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.</i>

I thought<strong> Finder</strong> was a standalone but lucky for everyone, it was just the first book in the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><em><strong>Finder Chronicles</strong></em></a> series.  I love this science fiction, space opera with the main character, Fergus is sort of a detective / Equalizer / McGyver kind of guy.  In <strong>Finder,</strong> Fergus "retrieves" a lost space ship and returns it to the rightful owner in the middle of a civil war.  In <strong>Driving the Deep,</strong> he has to locate his scientist friends who have been abducted and he deals with some family issues. In <strong>The Scavenger Door</strong>, Fergus gets a chance to spend some time with his family and save the world.

Fergus is just trying to be a normal guy.  He's spending time with his cousin and the sister he didn't know he had.  His cousin sent him to help a guy who lost some sheep and he finds a piece of metal.  It turns out to be an alien "door key"  which will let bad guys come to Earth.  Fergus ends up hunting for all the pieces.

We learn more about his history because of his family and also the contacts on Mars who help him with the task.  Zacker helps with some of the competition, along with a troupe of theater friends from the moon.  The Shipyard AI help with locating where the pieces might be.  So it is great to see he has friends from a variety of places.

Fergus has a lot of guilt about his younger sister and the danger everyone is in if he can't accomplish his tasks.  There is plenty of action and excitement and decent strategy.  It does seem just a bit easy for him to accomplish some of it though.   I wonder, and so does Fergus,  what he will do with his life after this is over.

I really liked this but just a bit less than the other two books.  It seemed a little too out there and while people get hurt and it isn't easy, it seems too easy.  There isn't quite as much humor as the previous books but there are still some good laughs.
<blockquote>"Spotting him, Zacker gestured toward the taxi stand.  "So, you came up with a plan?" he asked.

"Yep," Fergus answered.

"I'm not going to like it, am I?" Zacker said. "In fact, it's incredibly dumb and dangerous and desperate, right? And absolutely dependent on total stupid luck?"

"Exactly," Fergus said, as cheerfully as he could. "It's so nice to be with someone who gets my work methodology so precisely."</blockquote>
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I missed book #2 in Suzanne Palmer’s Finder Chronicles series (Driving the Deep) and didn’t have time to add it to my pile o’ books before I had to pick up The Scavenger Door. (I’m trying to be better at meeting my own review deadlines!) Anyway, I was a bit worried that I’d missed something that would mar my (potential) enjoyment of The Scavenger Door…

And it seems all I missed was probably another excellent adventure-caper!

The Scavenger Door has Fergus back on Earth, determined to take a break from almost-getting-killed and other consequences of adventure. He’s bored out of his mind, driving his cousin and sister (!) nuts, and sent on an errand to get him out of their collective hairs. And of course, only Fergus could find adventure amongst a herd of missing sheep.

What follows is aliens on Earth, black-ops-style people on his heels (yup, on Earth), human cult members following close by (also on Earth), and (more than) a few more close shaves for Fergus (mostly on Earth). This time, he’s got his sister to worry about too, because of course little sisters are going to stick to you like a burr on socks.

The action explodes pretty much as soon as Fergus finds the first piece of artifact, albeit repetitively because he’s got multiple pieces to retrieve. I liked the comfortably-snarky conversations between the characters, didn’t like as much Fergus’ wallowing in self-doubt, and laughed out loud at parts (usually where sheep or a pyro-cultist are present).

If you’re a fan of space-adventures (even though this one takes place mostly on Earth) with hints of Indiana Jones and smothered in snarky wit, check out the Finders Chronicles. Start with Finder.

drey’s rating: Pick it up!
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So yeah, bit of a confession to start us off here dudes. I didn’t read the second book in this series, Driving the Deep. So, reading this one was a little like when you’re at a hockey game and go to the bar for the intermission and there’s a couple pretty babes that you start flirting with. Next thing you know you’ve crushed a few beers, the girls walk off with some meathead jabronis, and you’ve missed the entire second period. Your team was leading 1-0 and now are down by three and you didn’t even get a phone number. Fuck! You’re a little out of place, but able to piece together what you missed, and enjoy the rest of the game. Bang on my experience with The Scavenger Door and the Finder series. Had a lot of familiarity, some new elements, but pretty quick to pick it back up and get into the Finder universe again.

Anyways, our main man Fergus is back in Scotland and is reconnecting with his cousin and a sister that he had no idea existed. He’s been through a ton of shit and just wants to lay low and connect with his family. Like the great Dominic Toretto says, “There’s nothing stronger than family.” Problem is that he’s a little stir crazy and driving them all bonkers. Coming back after being MIA for 20 years of space adventure can be tough for people to adapt to. Fergus’s cousin wants him out of the house and finds a task for him. Since he’s a finder, Fergus is tasked with finding his buddy’s lost flock of sheep. A pretty far cry from tracking down stolen sentient spacecraft for this interstellar repo-man.

Since Fergus is a pure shit magnet, while up in the hills looking for sheep, he comes across broken shards of an alien artifact which his Asiig-given powers has now activated. The artifact is a piece of a gateway to an alien dimension containing the most ravenous and devouring of species. These bad boys are so fucked up that even the seemingly omnipotent Asiig are freaked out and don’t want that door opened. Fergus just wants to chill with some Coronas and his fam, but the end of the world is now a real possibility. Especially when you have doomsday cultists, billionaires, and government baddies all trying to get the pieces to the doorway that shouldn’t be opened. He needs to collect and get rid of all the pieces or else there is no family to go back to, no other families, no Coronas! The apocalypse is a nasty thing, bro. 

But yeah, this story took a while to get going. Probably to try to get the idiots like me who skipped the second book caught up. Even then, once I was in the story, I felt it dragged for the first third or so. It was a ton of throwbacks to the previous two books and really just Fergus repeating the same tasks in different locales across Earth. Same-same but different. Once it got going, boy did it get going. Hold on to your butts because when the story ramps up, you can’t put it down. The setting expands, Fergus becomes less mopey, and the pace ratchets up to eleven. I absolutely loved the buildup to climax and the finale, dudes. 

I think I was such a big fan of the ending because we left Earth again and really expanded our metaphysical boundaries. The setting in Finder was by far the raddest part and that was missing here. We’re mainly stuck on future Earth, which has some cool shit and tech, but it’s a far cry from sun shields, spinning wheel habitats, asteroids, all of which are linked through an intricate cable system in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space. Fuck me! That was a rad world, bros! 
Yeah, so, it was good but not great. I’m glad I gave this bad boy a read and will continue on with the series for sure. 
Anyways, that’s about all I got. Adios amigos!
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Ahoy there me mateys!  When I read the book, finder, I didn't know that this was the first book in a series.  It was a five star read and I adored Fergus Ferguson so much that I had to follow his next adventure.  Now book two had a completely different tack and feel but I still loved it even with its more serious undertones.  Sadly, book three didn't really work for me though I cannot tell if it's because of me personal preferences or the book itself.

This book lacked the emotional impact of the previous two.  Part of this was because Fergus has to track down various pieces of an alien artifact and how he tracks them down was a sort of rinse and repeat plot.  Fergus also has repetitive reflections on his past and his mental state, that while understandable, weren't very interesting to me.  Then there were side characters who were supposed to help Fergus on his mission but felt thrown in as convenient plot devices and not used as legitimate members of a team.  And add in the ending which just made no sense to me.  Once the alien artifacts were all gathered, the resolution stalled and was lackluster.

But here's the thing, I still love Fergus.  The book did have some lovely moments where I was cheering him on.  I do love the side characters even if I didn't love how they were used.  I actually kinda liked the cult subplot.  The Agent entertained me as usual.  Despite that ending, I still want to know what happens to Fergus next.  I will give the next book a chance and hope that it reverts back to the joy of the first two books.  Arrr!

So lastly . . .

Thank ye kindly DAW books!
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Suzanne Palmer has been one of my authors to watch, and the first two books in this series are a lot of fun. The Scavenger Door closes a door on Fergus Ferguson’s adventures, although you know the saying about doors and windows. It’s an interesting book, taking a close look at Fergus’ Earth connections but his ‘finding’ challenges are less personal than the earlier books. It leads to a particular narrative schisms that lack the same emotional resonance as the earlier books.

Fergus is adventure personified, but being on Earth has him full of feels, particularly guilt about his past and other’s exposure to his hazardous life. This leads to strange reflective pieces that have little to do with the mission at hand. Think of it, as it were, as the thoughts that fill one’s head during the moments driving to and from work. However, I’m not sure I particularly enjoyed those feelings as a refrain, the thoughts we have time and time again. I certainly got tired of hearing his, and welcomed the moments where he appeared to have an emotional breakthrough, as rare as they were. “Isla’s complaint that he was taking his gift too passively seemed to have legitimate cause… He was, he thought, very attached to his particular ideas of who he was, even if he was sure they were mostly wrong. The only thing he was sure about, in what he thought was a minimally biased way, was that he was good at finding things.”

It’s a good thing Fergus is good at finding things, because he has been handed an extensive agenda by the alien Ignatio. I confess, when I realized the extent of the tasks, I experienced a flashback to that moment watching Speed when–spoiler alert–I realized Sandra still wasn’t safe and now had to deal with a runaway subway car. Emotionally full, and ready to move on, or at least, stop and reflect. Alas, it wasn’t to be. That’s not to say the individual episodes aren’t fun, amusing, or challenging, because they are. It’s just to say that I lack a certain endurance for that kind of marathon task and would like to be home and tucked in bed by midnight.

Nonetheless, there’s no way that complaint should be construed as not enjoying the book. It’s just a lot, but that’s gonna happen when you have to save the universe. And seriously, I should have been expecting it, as Finder was a non-stop adventure from one end of the known planet systems to another.

It’s a good thing that I really enjoy Palmer’s writing and the tone. I’m definitely a fan of how she puts both words and ideas together, particularly that sly little humorous tone that comes about, but without needing to spell things out for the reader.

“Sorry if I’ve inconvenienced you,” Fergus said, feeling not sorry at all.

“Oh no, not at all!” the agent said, as if there had been no sarcasm in Fergus’s words. “Chaos is a delight. Without it, nothing new would ever be born, or learnt, or dreamt. But it must be considered. Not by you, I mean; it’s all way over your head.”

I’m definitely in the fan club, and if I don’t read this quite as many times as I read first two, it’s only because it’s so packed, I’d really like something a little less effusive. And because sometimes Star Wars is all you need.

Many, many thanks to both Netgalley and DAW for the advance reader copy. Of course all opinions are my own–you ever know me to be a mouthpiece for someone else? Also, of course, all quotes are subject to change. But I think they give nice insight into the thoughtful and entertaining writing.
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Suzanne Palmer is a new author to me. She has built a wonderful world within the pages of The Scavenger Door.

I really enjoyed learning about the main character Fergus, and about the world around him. I found the story easy to read and follow. Not to dense like some stories in this genre can be. It was thrilling at times, but I also felt that the pacing dragged in some spots. Still, a unique story that was entertaining.
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Fergus is back, and has to save our solar system, if not the entire galaxy in The Scavenger Door. 

If you haven't read the other two books in the series, do so. Now. While you could read this as a standalone, your experience will be so much richer with the full backstory, and this is an incredibly great series.

We, along with Fergus, meet his sister, born after his flight from Earth two decades prior. Ignatio and Mr. Feefs are there, and we encounter some of Fergus's friends (and frenemies) from his days on Mars. 

The threat this time is an artifact that broke up as it fell through Earth's atmosphere. Assembled, it will allow the Vraet, a scavenger race, to obliterate life in our solar system, and possibly beyond. Fergus, thanks to his forced augmentation by the Asiig, has an affinity with the artifact that allows him to locate and gather the pieces. The Alliance are hot on his tail, and he also has to deal with a wayward member of an apocalyptic cult who want the Vraet to destroy everything.

The story is amazing. Fergus goes through real growth and development. He is a good guy who is constantly put into difficult positions and sometimes has to do the not-so-right thing. He's not nearly as bad as he believes himself to be, though, and it was nice to see him start to realize this. He demonstrates compassion, self-sacrifice, and empathy. His motivations, and those of the other characters, feel real. 

If I have a quibble, it's that we still don't have much insight into the Asiig. They manipulate Fergus and could obviously provide more help than they do, until the very end, where there's a bit of deus ex machina.

Highly recommended. 4.25 stars out of 5.

I received an advance copy from DAW via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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The Scavenger Door, like all book by Suzanne Palmer was captivating. She does write really engaging science-fiction, not to dense, very active, with an immersive world and relatable characters. I can't get more of her! And it looks like she kept improving. This book might be her best one so far!! I can't recommend it enough!
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