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Literature / Revenger

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Revenger series is a series of novels set in the Solar System tens of millions of years in the future. The planets have long been scrapped for use in construction, and people live on Baby Planets (with a black holes in the center) or huge space stations. Interplanetary voyages are conducted with Space Sailing ships that must weather solar storms and attacks by Space Pirates.

Human civilization has expanded and collapsed several times. Each such expansion is called an occupation, and at the time of the setting, the thirteenth is in full swing, although just coming out of a recession. It spans approximately 20,000 inhabited worlds.

One risky but lucrative line of work for a spaceship crew is to find artifacts of previous occupations, which usually fetch high prices on the market (or might provide utility right off the bat). Such items can be found in caches around the system, typically full of dangers and deathtraps.


The story starts off when two sisters, Adrana and Arafura Ness, become part of a crew of Monetta's Mourn. They are recruited for their ability to "read bones", essentially allowing to patch into the Subspace Ansible network around the system.

The series currently has two novels, Revenger, and Shadow Captain. A third novel, Bone Silence is forthcoming.

The series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Tackle knifes. Also, the Ghosties weapons.
  • Action Girl: Both of the Ness sisters. Also, Illyria in her role as Bosa Sennen.
  • And I Must Scream: A literal example, when a lot of quoins are brought to close proximity with each other.. The crew moves to stop the screaming as fast as they can once it starts.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Thoroughly averted. All encountered AIs are downright helpful. The only problems are in some cases caused by conflicting orders if the AI in question considers several people to be the master.
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  • Baby Planet: Several. The Ness sisters are from Mazarile.
  • The Bait: Arafura and Prozor decide to lure Bosa to a trap using one. The Purple Queen is the bait, without the crew knowing it.
  • Boarding Party: Monetta's Mourn gets boarded by one. Later on, Arafura makes her own and boards Bosa's ship
  • Brainwashed: Rackamore's daughter, Illyria. Also attempted on Adrana, but Arafura manages to interrupt the process in time. See Legacy Immortality, below.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Literal armory. A cache of equipment from the Ghosties era is mentioned early on, as My Greatest Failure of Captain Rackamore. One guess on where the crew gets the gear they need for taking on Bosa Sennen
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Arafura, after coming out of the hideout after the pirate attack. Subverted, as one of the crew has only been Faking the Dead.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Arafura and Prozor. Also, later, the crew of Purple Queen.
  • Invisibility Cloak: More or less Invisibility Powered Armor. Long-lost Ghosties technology.
  • Mercy Kill: Begged for by the AI maintaining security systems of the cache at the end of Shadow Captain
  • Legacy Immortality: Bosa Sennen. Most captains think that anyone claiming to be Bosa Sennen is just using The Dreaded status associated with the name as the original must have died a long time ago. They are only partially right, as each new Bosa has the same motivations and goals as the original.
  • Reactionless Drive: Ion drives, used when it is not possible to use sails.
  • Starship Luxurious: The passenger liner that Arafura and Quindar travel on.
  • Space Sailing: Standard propulsion in the setting. The orbital mechanics and operations of sailing are highly detailed. For example, you cannot use tacking since there is nothing to tack against. Instead, getting to inner orbits requires slowing down of the ship and adjusting the reflecting surfaces correctly.
  • Solar Flare Disaster: Zigzagged. In Shadow captain, the solar flare causes lots of false alarms in the ship's systems. This allows pursuers to do a radar scan undetected - it's thought to be part of the storm
  • Solar Sail: On every ship, given the setting. Ion drives act as backups and are used near ports.
  • Space Pirates: As stated by Word of God, Reynolds wanted to make Wooden Ships and Iron Men but in SPACE!. With appropriate levels of Sci-Fi hardness, of course.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Both Ness sisters over the course of the two first novels. Also, the crew of Purple Queen.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bosa Sennen turns out to be this, after explaining the motivations to the Ness sisters. The currency everyone is using, quoins, is apparently sentient - remains of a long-lost alien race that used Brain Uploading to save their souls.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Ness sisters. After their father dies during Arafura's escape, there is really nothing left on Mazarile for either of them.

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