Drew Williams's The Stars Now Unclaimed, the first volume of The Universe After series, is a fun, adventure-filled space opera set in a far-future galaxy.
"The only thing more fun than a bonkers space battle is a whole book packed with bonkers space battles. Come for the exploding spaceships, stay for the intriguing universe."—Becky Chambers, author of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Jane Kamali is an agent for the Justified. Her mission: to recruit children with miraculous gifts in the hope that they might prevent the Pulse from once again sending countless worlds back to the dark ages.
Hot on her trail is the Pax--a collection of fascist zealots who believe they are the rightful rulers of the galaxy and who remain untouched by the Pulse.
Now Jane, a handful of comrades from her past, and a telekinetic girl called Esa must fight their way through a galaxy full of dangerous conflicts, remnants of ancient technology, and other hidden dangers.
And that's just the beginning . . .
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Williams's sarcastic, trope-filled debut is a science fiction adventure that never takes itself too seriously. Jane is a human member of the Justified sect who's trying to make up for what she views as the worst thing she's ever done. A few generations ago, the universe was hit by the pulse, a weapon that destroyed all other weaponry. It got out of control and set planets back technologically, leaving some without even electricity. Jane's sect was the one that released it, with her help. Now she's trying to right her wrongs by traveling to different planets to find kids who have gained powers because of the pulse. With the help of Preacher, a member of the alien AI Barious, her goal is to help telekinetic child Esa save the universe. But the destructive, shortsighted sect known as Pax has been rallying for universal domination and stands in her way. For those familiar with the genre, this story won't have many surprises, but it's an enjoyable ride full of dry humor and thrilling action scenes.