Mal and the crew take receipt of a sealed crate which they are being paid to transport to Badger, no questions asked. Yet once their cargo is safely stowed aboard, River insists Mal should “space” it out of the airlock, for it contains, she insists, ghosts. With supplies running low, the crew desperately need another pay day, but soon find themselves paralysed by hallucinations of their deepest hopes and desires, so vivid they cannot be distinguished from reality. River is the only one unaffected, and desperately tries to awaken her crew mates, while the fantasies turn sour, and the ship begins to spin out of control.
This is the fourth original novel tie-in to the much-loved and much missed Firefly.
The Ghost Machine takes place between the events of the series and the movie Serenity, and we find Mal and the gang on the planet Canterbury en route to picking up some… slightly dubious cargo from Hoyt Koestler, to deliver to their old friend* Badger.
Things quickly go awry, and hijinks, as one would hope, ensue.
I greatly enjoyed spending an afternoon in the company of our Big Damn Heroes. Lovegrove does a sterling job of nailing the characters, the plot is clever and the action whistles along. We get to see into the dreams of the crew, which lends a nice layer onto what we already know about them.
If you’re a Firefly fan (Browncoats forever!) then I’d highly recommend picking this up. If you’re new to the series, go watch it first! Then come back and read this.
Firefly: The Ghost Machine by James Lovegrove is published by Titan Books and is out in June 2020. Many thanks to Titan Books for the advance ebook copy to review.