Salvaged – Madeleine Roux

Salvaged

Summary

Rosalyn Devar has sunk pretty low - low enough that her job is cleaning up decomposing bodies on failed spaceships. When she's drunk on duty again, the company gives her one last chance, and she's determined to straighten up and get her act together. Only, a parasitic, mind-controlling fungus can ruin your day...

Review

The story starts well, if not particularly innovatively – down on her luck protagonist with dark secrets, having a hard time. And the characterization is mostly strong throughout the book. Unfortunately, the structure and pacing doesn’t hold up as well.

The perspective shifts frequently among several characters, and that largely works. However, the piece also frequently slips into flashbacks and memories, and they are, by and large, poorly signaled and demarcated. The net result was that I found it hard to be sure whose perspective we were seeing, and when. There were also significant plot points that simply didn’t make sense to me. While some details seemed perfectly reasonable, the larger actions (a mind-influencing parasite respecting the bodily autonomy of a person it desperately wants to recruit) often weren’t logical. The characters rush back and forth through spaces that seem awfully convenient to their needs. While much of the revealed backstory was entirely predictable, I didn’t find the end credible at all.

All the right elements were in place for a good, if familiar, story, but I didn’t feel Roux did a good job of placing and using them. Much of my appreciation was not so much for the story that’s here as for the story that I assume she intended. A good effort, but in need of substantial editing and polish.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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