Full Share by Nathan Lowell (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper 3)

After Ishmael’s mother died leaving him without means he took a contract with the mercantile fleet and joined the Lois McKendrick crew first as a Quarter Share mess deck attendant and later as a Half Share environmental tech learning all the time. On a routine jump to Betrus, the Lois McKendrick runs into trouble and the lives of the crew hangs on a thread. Not a common occurrence in the Share series. The narration by Nathan Lowell is as mesmerizing as ever, it is hard to stop listening.

Title: Full Share
Author: Nathan Lowell
Voices: Nathan Lowell
Series: Golden Age of the Solar Clipper 3
Genre: Mercantile Science Fiction
Publisher: Podiobooks.com
Audiobook: Free Online | iTunes
Homepage: Trader’s Diary
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 United States License

The Lois McKendrick runs headlong into trouble when a routine in-system transit goes bad. Ishmael and the rest of the crew must scramble to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it in order to keep the ship alive. Learn more about the officers and crew as they struggle to keep their ship and discover how Ishmael finds out how wrong he’s been about what it means to be a spacer in this latest Trader’s Tale.

As you might remember Ishmael loves the Deep Dark and he decided to learn all four spacer specialties so that he always would be able to take a new job offer in case he got stranded. That never happened so far as the Mack crew have become more like his extended family, and you don’t fire family. In this installment he continues to learn, taking more exams.

When the ship run into a energy field on a routine jump to Betrus something unexpected happens with the ships system and most of the book is about finding out why it happened and prevent it from ever happing again. Ish saves the ship in a rather spectacular way but it is downplayed so he doesn’t notice it himself until much later in the novel. Charmingly done by Nathan.

Corporate assigns an environment tech with seniority to environmental leaving Ish without a job, but don’t worry the Mack takes care of its own. The new tech is sloppy and act as if he is entitled, this is dealt with as a workplace problem in a rather mature way. But when CC the new guy doesn’t listen to reason Ish finds another way. That is one amusing story.

From the first chapters people tell Ishmael that he should apply to the Academy to become an officer, because he obviously have a knack for it. It is all a bit bitter sweet, because Ishmael would have to leave the Mack to go and probably never come back.

As with any young man, a fair bit of the book is about his relations with girls. Full Share is PG-13 at least towards the end.

The world outside trade never felt important and are not explained much. We get to know more about the independent traders though. Life in a Free Trader Family opens Ishmael’s eyes. One thing I like about the share books is how natural the narration feels, its like the characters live in the world and they don’t think so much about everyday knowledge that doesn’t concern them, the focus lies on their everyday problems and how they deal with them.

Full Share ends the Lois McKendrick Trilogy part of the story, it is bittersweet and empowering. Young man finds a new family, grows up and leaves family, family is proud to see him grow. It is the natural order of things. All the Share books have a message about non-violent solutions that is a fresh contrast to most science fiction. Everyone interested in science fiction should listen to the Share books because it’s a different perspective, the working stiff’s SF.