Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Maze-Born Trouble
AUTHOR: Ginn Hale
PUBLISHER: Blind Eye Books
LENGTH: 80 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016
A dead girl, a cop he can’t forget, and a price on his head. All on a space station at the edge of a black hole. Just another day’s work for P.I. Lake Harmaa. P.I. Lake Harmaa escaped the darkness and intense gravity of Sisu Space Station’s Maze Sector by turning traitor and spying for the Feds during the war. He has no intention of risking his neck by going back down into those depths, where there’s a price on his head and more than a few souls who wouldn’t mind him turning up dead. But when he’s framed for a brutal murder, Lake realizes he must return to the Maze and settle old scores.
Lake Harmaa didn’t have the easiest life growing up; part of a cult embroiled in a war with Federation authorities, he did what he had to do to survive and protect what mattered to him. Now a former Detective turned Private Investigator, he may not have the most money but he’s content with the life he’s built for himself regardless. When someone he’d been hired to find turns up dead, and Lake’s contact information is found belonging to the victim, Lake finds himself being dragged right back into the shadows he crawled out of so long ago. And as more information comes to light, Lake will have to fight harder than ever to ensure he isn’t left to fend for himself in the dark.
Okay, so…there are good things and bad things both about this story but as I’m having trouble articulating something cohesive for my review, I’m going to go with a pros and cons list for this one.
I really enjoyed the setting for this story. While this isn’t the first book I’ve read that takes place on a space station, I enjoyed the unique set up of the station itself as well as how it was maintained. The characters were also great; Lake was by far my favorite but, surprisingly, he was closely followed by some of the secondary characters rather than the other leading man, Aguilar. (Don’t get me wrong, I liked Aguilar, but I never really felt as though I got to know him all that well even with the information you get about him from Lake’s observations and memories.) It was also interesting to see the variety of implants and ‘upgrades’ that people were sporting throughout the story and while it would’ve been nice to have gotten to learn more about them, I appreciated that the author didn’t let the technology take over in regards to the investigative work done in the story.
There were many times throughout the story where I found myself confused for one reason or another. Lake’s abilities in regards to his implants was one such source of consternation for me and you don’t get any kind of explanation about it until a little over half way through the story and, even then, it was just a comment made in passing. There were also portions of the story that would’ve just made more sense to me with a either a little more detail or, again, some kind of explanation to keep me from feeling as though I was floundering through a different language. (It did get better the farther in I got but I never lost that overall sense that I was just missing something because I didn’t understand.)
I liked the story, quite a bit, but my enjoyment was tempered by all the times I mentally said “what?” and had to re-read something in an effort to clarify it. The mystery was done well and I certainly hadn’t seen the ending coming, which was nice, but I’m still not certain if I’ll have any greater understanding of some of the problem portions when I re-read it. I will re-read it in the future though, and I fully expect to enjoy it again; I’d recommend this to those who enjoy a little mystery with their sci-fi or who are just looking for a mystery outside of a typical contemporary setting.