On the Horizon – the tea master and the detective (Aliette de Bodard)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the tea master and the detective (Aliette de Bodard)

Title: the tea master and the detective

Author: Aliette de Bodard

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-1596068643

Source: NetGalley

The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:

  1. I previously read some of the author’s short stories and loved her writing style;
  2. It is a Subterranean Press book and they do great work; and
  3. One of the characters is a mindship . . .

This mindship, named The Shadow’s Child, is not just any ship.  It was previously a military ship who physically survived an ambush and massacre but since retired from active duty and is suffering PTSD and struggling to make ends meet.  One of the things the ship does to make money is brew special blends of tea.  These teas are made to suit the drinker’s specific goals and body chemistry.  One day a woman named Long Chau comes in and requests a serenity blend to focus her mind.  The ship takes the needed money and finds itself not only involved in a crime investigation but also having to face deep space where the ship swore it would never enter again.

Apparently this book is part of a series of books and stories set in the Universe of Xuya.  I had never read anything set in Xuya before.  I found the world-building and characterizations to be fascinating.  I absolutely loved the neurotic, damaged The Shadow’s Child and the story told from the ship’s perspective.  I didn’t really care much about the crime story itself but was more focused on how the ship was dealing with a situation it didn’t care for.  Long Chau is a purposefully unlikeable character who is trying to do the right thing.

Ultimately while I really enjoyed the story, I think I would like a longer work with more detailing of how the society functions and how the mindships work.  But this character-driven piece was a good introduction to a new world that I hope to visit more often.  Besides who doesn’t love mindships?  Arrr!

So lastly . . .

Thank you Subterranean Press!

Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Aliette de Bodard – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the tea master and the detective – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

9 thoughts on “On the Horizon – the tea master and the detective (Aliette de Bodard)

  1. I love the sound of this one, Cap! I, too, like her writing style and I love the thought of the murder mystery in space… I’m writing my own first draft of a sci fi whodunit later this year, so I’m keen to see how she tackles this:).

    Liked by 1 person

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