The Kassa Gambit by M.C. Planck

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Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Humanity is apparently alone in the universe.

Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren’t always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He’s been undercover so long he can't be trusted by anyone—even himself.

While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack.

But something tells them there is more to the story. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.

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About M.C. Planck

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M. C. PLANCK lives in Australia.
Published January 8, 2013 by Tor Books. 289 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Kassa Gambit

Kirkus Reviews

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What follows is superbly handled psychological intrigue: While they must work together, Prudence regards Daspar as exactly what he appears to be, a League operative determined to subvert and destroy her independence, while Daspar suspects Prudence of being a highly trained League agent assigned t...

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Kassa Gambit

Publishers Weekly

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This fast-moving tale of a freighter captain caught up in a star-spanning conspiracy crosses genres repeatedly, beginning as a space-operatic mystery with noir aspirations and winding up with a romance.

Nov 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Kassa Gambit

Open Letters Monthly

Planck expertly weaves plots and counter-plots as Prudence and Kyle work separate trails to figure out what’s going on, Prudence consulting with Dr. Jandi and Kyle at one point visiting the high-gravity world of Baharain (the novel has, to put it mildly, some feints at present-day headlines), whe...

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The novel is part first contact, part conspiracy theory, part mystery, part romance, and part thriller along with some effectively creepy scenes that would fit into a horror novel.

Jan 09 2013 | Read Full Review of The Kassa Gambit

Fantasy Literature

Given the usual improvement from a book one to a book two for new novelists, I’d consider giving a second book a chance, but The Kassa Gambit doesn’t quite have enough to garner a recommended read.

Jan 22 2013 | Read Full Review of The Kassa Gambit

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