The Caterpillar, a top secret Styx research space ship, has been floating in the middle of nowhere for over a year and a half with a small crew that are more or less insane. No one is supposed to know their location, but Bounty-Hunter-turned-Security-Officer Kreya picks up another ship heading straight for them. When she allows the ship to dock; mercenaries, space ghosts, evolving aliens, and insane crew members group together for a suspenseful and silly science fiction thriller.
“A guy who fears things that aren’t there and one that sees them most of the day make an unpredictable team…”
Tibensky’s debut novel Natural Elimination: The Cotesia Incident’s greatest feature is its brilliantly colorful characters. Each of the Caterpillar’s crew seems to be inflicted with a different kind of insanity. Yorn, the navigator, for example, spends his time drawing, stalking the pilot when he plays video games, and doing whatever the voices in his head (the Gribblets) demand of him. Grit, the engineer, spends his time stoned in the engine room and tries to convince everyone that the sentient power supply they deem an energy ghost is actually an angel.
Several different angles are involved to form the suspense in the story: mercenaries, monsters, and confinement. While the monsters and confinement bring most of the suspense and horror to the story, the mercenaries bring apprehension to the small crew of the Caterpillar and effectively start the spark that sets the plot in motion.
Tibensky created a universe with fiercely awesome alien creatures and brilliantly dysfunctional characters. The story left me in snickering at the outlandish dialog with a few slapped-in-the-face sobering moments to keep the tension and suspense going. Tibensky is an author to watch for more!
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