It has been a while since I read a fun Sci-Fi shoot em up and The Wrong Stars: Book 1 of the Axiom by Tim Pratt really filled the billed. The first of two books that follow the Axiom by Pratt that also includes The Dreaming Stars. I have read reports that there will be a third book but unsure how accurate they were. The series follows the ship the White Raven and its crew as they go from part time cop and high speed transportation provider to galactic avengers.
The book focus is not on the science but the characters and action. And the action comes pretty fast and at a very solid rate through out the book. There does not appear to be a dull moment and the book only covers roughly the course of a week, give or take 500 years.
Set sometime over 500 years in the future the White Raven, captained by Callie Machedo and a crew of four encounters an odd looking space ship, the Anjou, floating unpowered in space. Upon investigating they find that it is what was called a goldilock ship, one of many that had been sent off to try and colonize distant stars because at the time it looked as if the Earth was dying. Onboard is Elena Oh, one of the original crew members, but no sign of the others. The ship has been oddly altered with strange, possibly alien technology discovered on the spacecraft.
This chance meet up starts a chain of events that will lead to huge loss of life, life threatening aliens named the Axiom who have been unseen for millennium; helpful but maybe not so helpful aliens, aptly named the Liars, battles, monster robots and a threat to all life in the galaxy, all in one book.
The book is very much both a character and plot driven story, and in many ways reminds me of The Long Way to a Small Angry, Planet, by Becky Chambers, a book I greatly enjoyed. Not in plot but in character development and variety. That book, as in this, has little use for intricate and plausible science instead focusing on the lives and interplay among the main cast of characters.
The one weakness I found in The Wrong Stars is with some of its terminology and science. Not the lack of emphasis but the use of what seems to me what would be archaic terms and technologies. Riveted shields onto the space craft, mentioning middle school, using shotguns. They just felt wrong. The Wrong Stars was a very enjoyable, fast action book. Whatever the flaws you really do not notice except in hindsight.