by Suzanne Palmer
DAW, 2019. 391 pages. Science Fiction.
Fergus Ferguson has a job that gets him into a lot of trouble. To some, he's a thief, a con artist. To others, a repo man. But to himself, he's a self-proclaimed finder. He travels the stars finding things for the people who hire him. Sometimes this is complicated. Luckily in the case of his most recent job, it should be simple. Steal back a state-of-the-art spaceship from a former noble turned criminal trade boss. The location, a small colony called Cernee out in the armpit of the galaxy. All he has to do is get in, decode the ship's compromised AI, and then get out. But when a cable car he's on explodes minutes after he arrives, Fergus finds himself planted in a power struggle between the colonies three factions. Using his charm, wits, and luck, he gathers the most trustworthy of the colony's people to help him. Getting the ship means solving the colony's struggle. To make matters more complicated, an alien species, known for abductions and hostile flybys, comes in for a prolonged, silent visit. Fergus, or whatever alliterated name he decides to go by, will have to decide who he is, what he cares about, and if he can really solve enough problems to both save Cernee from destruction and recover the ship he's been sent to find.
Finder is an interesting mix of comedy heists like Ocean's Eleven and interstellar found families stories like The Long Way to a Small Angry, Planet by Becky Chambers. For those looking for a more personal, emotionally focused space adventure, without the epic stakes of the common space opera, this is the book is for you.