Diving into the Wreck
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Cover Artist: Dave Seeley
Review by Mel Jacob
Pyr Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781591027867
Date: 24 November 2009 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Award winning author, Kristine Rusch's new science fiction novel, Diving into the Wreck, focuses on a diver known only as Boss. She has made a business of locating and mapping derelict space ships. She uses teams of experienced divers to explore such ships. Her primary focus is on history and she turns some of these ships over to museums. Tourist divers she takes to them also provide a steady income. Dangers lurk in such dives and a puncture in a protective suit can lead to death.
When she stumbles on a weak energy signal in a remote unexplored area, she finds a major mystery. A large ancient vessel without faster-than-light drive shouldn't have reached this part of space so remote from Earth. Her initial research indicates the wreck is a Dignity warship. Determined to explore it, she returns to her base to assemble a team of divers. Initially, she tells them little about wreck, afraid both of prejudicing them and of having word get out to others.
At the wreck site, team members soon realize the nature of the vessel. One former military team member urges Boss to destroy it. She refuses. However, despite all her precautions, disaster strikes and the team loses two divers. The wreck contains ancient stealth technology present military haven't yet recreated. When she refuses to call in the military or destroy the wreck, an angry team member takes the body recovered to base and reports the find. The authorities arrive and declare the wreck off limits.
Guilt over the deaths sends Boss into self-imposed retirement. She is also haunted by the Room of Lost Souls where her mother disappeared when Boss was four. He father eventually saved her, but not her mother. Boss suppressed her memories of the Room and always avoided it. A woman contacts Boss asking her to find her father believed last seen there. At first, Boss refuses, but the money offered eventually sways her.
Do people enter the room looking for salvation, absolution of past sins, or to commit suicide? None of these fit Boss' mother. Boss must resolve the mystery of her mother's death and confront her father.
A loner, she relies heavily on her team for what social interactions she allows herself and develops a fierce loyalty to her team. The Room possesses similar stealth technology to the Dignity vessel she discovered, but no one has ever found a way to turn it off or to use it. The death of a fellow diver in the Room makes her vow to destroy the Dignity vessel she discovered and its stealth technology.
An accomplished author, Rusch offers an exciting adventure in a new environment. The end provides for a sequel.