The book has been out since 2017, so I might as well tell you have I found out about it. I was at MFF 2021 and had gone to a couple of those writing panels one of which was co hosted by Gre7g Luterman. Whom I would later meet in the Dealer’s Den. We got into talking and I wanted to buy at least one of his books. He personally recommended this one, saying I might find this the most interesting of his works. He also said if I like it I should get the sequels… more on that later.
The story is described as…
A slave raised believing himself free, a criminal even before his birth. Everyone thinks Kanti is someone he isn’t: a playboy reduced to working at the dump, a spiteful son trying to make amends, and perhaps even an excuse to recycle every last officer, crewman, and cub on board. However, this unlikely hero and the rest of the crew are in for a wild ride to the brink of mutiny, isolated deep in space, some 1,500 light years from home. When the sinister Commissioner Sarsuk starts tightening restrictions on birth tokens for the geroo colony, Kanti is forced to make decisions about his identity…and his place in the colony he hopes to always call home, even if at the risk of family, friends, and love.
But what do you really get. The story starts out when a man who is 60 says he is dying. But as the story goes on he seems healthy until he takes an orange pill and dies.
Welcome the world of the Geroo. I leave the description of the species to the cover art.
They live on a colony ship with 10,000 other Geroo all living there lives. But as the story goes on things get darker. We find out that they were taken from their homeworld by monsters such as Commissioner Sarsuk is. Monsters in more ways than just size. Oh sure at first they cured the Geroo of all their problems. Before encourage them to board colony ships to another world. There are rumors about the White Flower II that there homeworld was destroyed by them, after all the ships were filled.
As the story focuses on Kanti were learn that since this journey began they went from a primitive civilization to one of classes, rich and poor. Kanti is originally from a rich family until he caused issues. Which left him just one stage above being homeless.
Then sadness stuck when a friend of his is killed, and since they all look alike. He simply swapped identities. He later discovers he friend was rich.
Kanti wants to be comfortable, he even finds someone to mate with. But not go on a spending spree
The White Flower II has many secrets. Including The Skeleton Crew, which the title hints at, simply means killing 75% of them. Keeping males until they produce semen, an females to they give birth after which they would be killed. If the oxygen levels drop.
You can see that nearly spawns a riot.
Eventually Kanti’s secret gets out, and that in a way he is the stowaway the Commissioner had been looking for. It seems despite all the females are prevented from giving birth. They get Birth Tokens which allows them to do so when the Commissioner gives there Okay. Kanti’s birth was an accident.
That is where the story ends until the 2nd volume in the series The Cleaning Crew.
Watch the story unfold was interesting, you wonder how far Kanti could go without revealing his true identity. The secrets of the White Flower II I found the most interesting, as it seemed around every corner a new secret was discovered.
But as I am known for honesty in my reviews. There are are couple of things that really bothered me. Take Sarsuk and other’s of his kind. They built the White Flower II, and he is running back and forth between his ship and his world? Couldn’t they provide spare parts if something simply stopped working. Next was a certain kind of nut that gets you high, think crystal myth. The ship pulled out from there homeworld 400 years ago. Where are they getting the nuts? Don’t say homeworld as narcotic effects of certain plants don’t last that long. The story also says they traveled 1500 Light Years, and they could not find a new planet? Okay I know finding a suitable planet can be hard just look at RL. But in 400 years and Sarsuk’s kind are also space travelers. You are trying to tell me they don’t know of any suitable world’s in all that time?
Something is going on.
And I like to know.
Which is the reason I am recommending this book and honestly have plans on getting the other 2 volumes The Cleaning Crew and Small World.
You might be wondering why, after what I said I said about it. I love a good mystery and books that feature non human characters. This is both, there are enough secrets that still need to come out that in my mind it’s worth it.
Gre7g Luterman was right it is an interesting read.
Did you know Amazon takes 30% of the author’s royalties? So this is why even though this book is available on Amazon. I recommend buying from the author HERE
1 thought on “The Kanti Cycle: The Skeleton Crew by Gre7g Luterman Review”
Clarification on a few random items:
* Kanti was always poor. Saina was born rich.
* Areca nuts are grown on board the ship, much like how Jaca grows flowers in his apartment, except that areca nuts are illegal. The nuts are seeds and were smuggled on at the start of the trip, so it’s not shocking they would be farmed illicitly.
* Commissioner Sarsuk checks in regularly on the crew because he has a crappy job. His bosses don’t trust him to do it remotely with a video call. They want him there, keeping the geroo in line.
* Yes, terraformable worlds are extremely rare. Despite the thousands of ships that the company uses in their search, they only find a match every few thousand years.
Hope that helps!
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