Aside from having one of the coolest sounding author names, Trust A Few (TAF) opens by introducing one of its main characters who has a similar encumbering, fantastic name: Avilon Revid. The name (it is by no means the only great name I found in this book, belongs to one being interviewed for release/ parole, from an internment within a military function used as punishment.
There is a good amount of exposition in this first chapter and it juggled expertly with character motivations to move the story along, and what came through right away was EMSH’s complete understanding of her world. She has carefully selected names for common sci-fi tropes like laser guns (in this book they are called energy snubs), which allowed me to understand what they were with little explanation. This is true for much of her technology and something I, as a reader, made the process faster and more enjoyable, and as an author, slower because I’ve had to make notes on how to improve.
The universe is larger than the story, but very little time is spent dropping in non-relevant information about it. You get a sense of it, but the story (and this is the third time I’ve hit the jackpot with this), stays mainly on one planet with the characters and person brings a unique perspective on their cut of the story. All of them have identifiable names, Durban Chola being another great name and they all stand out from one another. I’d be interested in knowing how thick each of their dossiers is amongst EMSH’s notes.
Influence is the game; favours are bought and sold as currency. We, as readers, jump from planet to planet, into the heads of characters that start in very different places from each other but come to unite in the most dangerous city on the most dangerous planet in the galaxy. The best thing for me was what I believed would be the story, was quickly thrown out in favour of a complete and utter blindside, yarp!
The story is told in third person limited. There is no swearing and intimacy is suggested upon rather than lingered over, making it available to most ages. The grammar is excellent and I found only three editorial slips. They don’t slow the pace however, as EMSH has created a great character driven plot, one that comes a satisfying conclusion for its main thread and wide open for its many smaller ones. It also teases a greater purpose which no doubt will come to fruition in TAF’s sequels - which I will only be too happy to read.