Titanborn

Titanborn

4.4 11
by Rhett C. Bruno
     
 
In this gritty and innovative science-fiction thriller in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming.
 
Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job,

Overview

In this gritty and innovative science-fiction thriller in the vein of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming.
 
Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders.
 
But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth.
 
Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he’s learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal.

Praise for Titanborn

"Sci-fi noir at its finest! Drop what you're doing and start reading Titanborn!"—David Simpson, author of the bestselling Post-Human series

“A fun romp around the solar system. Raw and gritty. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Don’t miss out on this sci-fi gem!”—M. Pax, author of the Backworlds series

“An exciting tale of a futuristic mystery with universe-changing potential that can be enjoyed on a visceral level . . . All science fiction fans should do themselves a favor and pick this book up.”Examiner.com

“Malcolm is a classic hard-bitten hero, Zhaff is an intriguing presence, and the plot moves along briskly. This solar-system–spanning mystery will scratch the genre itch.”Kirkus Reviews

“[Rhett C.] Bruno expertly weaves action, capitalism, smuggling, fragile alliances, and revolution around the hard choices of a life-worn man who regrets always following orders.”Publishers Weekly

“[Bruno] has done a good job with Titanborn, and is definitely a science-fiction author to keep your eye on in the future.”Sci-Fi and Scary

“Revolution, rebellion, conquest, corporate greed, and individual ethics versus the good of a larger community: it’s all there, and more, neatly tucked into a cohesive narrative that hardly stops to take a breath. . . . The prose is as compelling, witty, and atmospheric as the best hard-boiled future noir can be. . . . This up-and-coming author may have to quit his day job—a career in architecture—or give up sleep, to keep up with reader demand.”Perihelion

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/02/2016
A solar system–spanning adventure of freedom fighters and corporate espionage delights readers in Bruno’s fully realized world. In 2334, New London is celebrating the 300th Meteor Day, the anniversary of a meteorite striking Earth and nearly wiping out humankind. When a bomb explodes, 30-year veteran bounty hunter Malcolm Graves goes after those responsible. The suspects are a group of Titanborn descended from colonists who settled Saturn’s moon Titan. The Titanborn are being marginalized as immigrants from Earth take their homes and jobs. Graves works for Pervenio Corp.; Pervenio and competitor Venta Co. control the mining industries of the entire Sol solar system. Graves and his new partner, Zhaff, follow the trail of clues to Old Russia and then to frozen Titan. Helping and hindering them are Venta bounty hunter Trevor Cross; information broker Mazrah, who’s Graves’ old flame; and Luxarn Pervenio, the richest man in the solar system. Bruno (The Circuit) expertly weaves action, capitalism, smuggling, fragile alliances, and revolution around the hard choices of a life-worn man who regrets always following orders. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2016-03-30
A futuristic thriller set in a solar system teetering on the brink of revolution. Malcom Graves is a collector for Pervenio, one of the handful of powerful corporations that runs the solar system. Three hundred years ago, a meteorite nearly destroyed life on Earth, and a spaceship carried a few thousand people to Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. The two civilizations developed separately for centuries, but now, Earthers returning to Saturn's Ring have taken Ringers' jobs and brought in diseases the Ringers' immune systems can't handle. Malcom's job is to put down strikes, chase criminals, and generally keep order among the restless outworlders. After a job on a mining asteroid goes bad, Malcom is on a mandatory vacation just in time for M-Day, the anniversary of the day the meteorite hit—and just in time to be on the scene when a bomb hits the celebrations in New London. Soon, Malcom is back on the clock, unraveling a plot that turns out to be much bigger than just one bomb. And he's saddled with a new partner, Zhaff, the product of the top-secret Cogent Initiative, who's as efficient, and as humorless, as an android. The stakes aren't fully clear until midway through the book, which undermines the suspense. But Malcom is a classic hard-bitten hero, Zhaff is an intriguing presence, and the plot moves along briskly. This solar-system-spanning mystery will scratch the genre itch.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399594793
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/21/2016
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
246
Sales rank:
12,662
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Rhett C. Bruno grew up in Hauppauge, New York, and studied at the Syracuse University School of Architecture. He is the author of Titanborn and the Circuit series.

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Titanborn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
sweetumsCA 21 days ago
well done
Kristin_S_Kim 5 months ago
Great sci-fi novel. Looking forward to more from this author. Disclaimer: I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I liked this book from the very start. While reading, I compared it somewhat to "The Expanse" (the TV show, as I haven't had a chance to read the books yet), which I also thoroughly enjoyed, as well as "Star Wars," considering the idea of inter-world bounty hunters and so forth. However, this book has its own distinct flair which sets it apart and makes it a new unique story all its own. Sci-fi books can be hit or miss a lot of times, but this one is definitely a winner, and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates the genre. I know I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by this author. 4.5 stars
HachiSnax 7 months ago
Almost two years ago I reviewed a book by Rhett Bruno, which was the first installment in an ambitious trilogy. It was called The Circuit: Executor Rising, and it was chock full of great world building concepts and thoroughly fleshed out characters. So, you can probably understand my excitement at getting a chance to review his newest novel, which promised to be a nice, gritty little slice of bounty hunter sci-fi. Let's start with the blurb: "In this gritty and innovative science fiction thriller, turmoil on one of Saturn’s moons rattles Earth’s most powerful citizens—and draws one planet-hopping rogue into a fight he never saw coming. Malcolm Graves lives by two rules: finish the job, and get paid. After thirty years as a Collector, chasing bounties and extinguishing rebellions throughout the solar system, Malcolm does what he’s told, takes what he’s earned, and leaves the questions to someone else—especially when it comes to the affairs of offworlders. But his latest mission doesn’t afford him that luxury. After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm’s paychecks are clamoring for answers. Before he can object, the corporation teams him up with a strange new partner who’s more interested in statistics than instinct and ships them both off to Titan, the disputed moon where humans have been living for centuries. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn dissidents who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth. Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he’s learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes that the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated . . . and much more personal." Ok, sounds great. Let's take a look at the book itself. Titanborn takes place in 2334 AD, three centuries after a meteorite obliterated most of the Earth. At the time, survivors had left to colonize Titan, Saturn's largest moon. As the colony evolved, they found success in harvesting the gases surrounding Saturn. Meanwhile, on Earth, humanity rebuilt itself, never achieving the same grandeur it once held. Now, a large percentage of the human race isn't even Earthborn. The descendants of the pilgrims to Titan are now so changed by their environment as to be almost an entirely different race: taller, lanky, near albino-white; the Titanborn. There are other "offworlders" born on Mars as well. There is a system of population control through which reproduction is legislated, leading to the rise of clan families in which arranged breedings are orchestrated. There is a palpable level of tension between these different human factions: the Earthers look down on offworlders, and there are also a lot of illegitimate children who have to hustle through life with no identity to claim as their own. The Titanborn have true cause for frustration: recent events on Earth have driven droves of Earther to the fertile gas supply around Saturn. These immigrants find themselves getting plum jobs over the native Titanborn. Also, the Titanborn are so far removed from the Earth population that they can contract life threatening diseases from even the most mundane Earth germs. This has cultivated enough frustration and animosity that splinter resistance groups have begun to form. There is one group that finds itself thriving despite the unrest - the corporate mega entities reaping the benefits of the gas harvesting. Foremost among these
Alliesopinions 8 months ago
Titanborn has all the elements of a best seller! Between the corporate greed and rivalries, Bruno plants the seeds of a tale that is really as old as our species. It's the tale of right over wrong. It's the tale of the oppressed subjugating their oppressors. ¡Viva la Revolucion! Among the many thought provoking elements to this novel is the evolution of our species if left on another planet for generations and how "Earth born" or the "unevolved" would see them. I think Bruno adequately represented this dilemma by weaving in the inevitable discrimination and dehumanization this situation would likely inherit. With terms like "off-worlder" and other monikers, the segregation of the different and the "original" delivers a disturbing realism to the thread of fiction. Another encouraging piece of this novel is the skillful evolution of Malcolm. Watching him reevaluate his employer and his past was an enlightening experience. Clearly, old dogs can learn new tricks. Bruno's writing is fluid and captivating. This is definitely an author to keep an eye on. This story has many layers and Bruno skillfully weaves them together to create a world believable and hauntingly realistic. Zhaff was a striking character. He embodied all the things that Malcolm thought he was. It was interesting to watch the play between the two characters and how it ultimately changed Malcolm. The end is an absolute surprise on one hand and not so shocking on the other. Towards the end of the book, I started to guess who one of the "terrorists" were but the other events that unfolded were a complete surprise. To see my full review of this title and many more, check out my blog AlliesOpinions on Wordpress!
Muttcafe 8 months ago
The line between freedom fighter and terrorist is a thin one, and what is just is not so easy to determine.  It is particularly visible in many works of classic science fiction. Rhett C Bruno is not afraid to explore that line in his incredible novel, Titanborn.  I was so enthralled, that I sat for hours, unwilling to put the book down until it was finished. The beginning and ending mirror each other - an act of personal sacrifice which will hopefully lead to the saving of many lives - unlikely to be remembered, unlikely to be appreciated. Malcolm Graves is a corporate problem-solver, a paid assassin. Earth and its related colonies are run by corporations. Workers are valuable, but only because of the cost involved in transporting new ones. Otherwise, people are disposable. Ringers are the descendants of those who fled to Titan before the meteor hit earth. Long separated from their kin, they lost immunity to common ailments.  When people from Earth arrived many years later, the Ringers suffered devastating losses to illnesses brought by the new settlers.  The Earthers quickly took over. Those Ringers remaining live in fear of contagion, struggling to survive as all the better jobs go to Earthers and anyone who becomes ill is sent into quarantine camps. Titanborn's introductory chapters introduces Malcolm Graves, shows what he does, and gives a bit of insight into his world, but the actual story begins with an explosion on Earth set by a Ringer. Malcolm and his new partner are assigned to hunt the perpetrator (the terrorist).  After finding him, they are given a larger assignment - to eliminate the Titanborn threat. This isn't a tale of good vs bad. Neither side behaves with honor but both can in a way be understood. It is revolution and it is dirty, but at the same time it is human.  Bruno doesn't pull any punches.  He doesn't give the readers an easy out.  There is considerable moral ambiguity.  Readers are left to watch, and like Solomon judge.   If I were to list all of the things that impressed me about Titanborn, this review would be far longer than anyone would be willing to read.  Also I feel that the beauty of Titanborn is best left to the reader to explore for themselves. After reading Titanborn, I am eager to read more of Rhett C Bruno's works. 5/5 I received a copy of Titanborn from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom
PowerMacMan 8 months ago
What happens when mankind is nearly wiped out after a large meteor hits the Earth? Mr. Bruno shows us one possibility. In Titanborn, mankind refuses to give up, and won’t let something like that ever happen again. Before the meteor struck, some of the brightest scientists were able to escape in a gigantic ship and set up a base on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. They escaped the hundreds of years of mass destruction and human suffering that happened on Earth. They learned to mine Saturn, and its rings and moons. They prospered. This book takes place 300 years after the meteor struck. Mankind survived. People are going to the stars, so that no one single event can wipe humanity out. Companies compete for the resources that can be extracted from the planets and moons of this solar system. But this isn’t Utopia. There are criminals, terrorists, revolutionaries, and other undesirable people who disrupt life. Some of those need to be brought to justice, sometimes they may be killed, but, oh well, that can’t be helped. Malcolm Graves does the collecting. Titanborn is an excellently written science based thriller. This world could happen. But this isn’t just an action-thriller. Mr. Bruno brings Malcolm Graves and his new partner, Zhaff, to life. They are well-developed. You connect with them. They discover that there is more going on than they were told. The companies need to be brought under control. But what can Malcolm do? What does he want to do? I give Titanborn 5 Stars out of 5 and Two Big Thumbs Up! This is one of the most complete, authentic, and well thought out future scenarios that I have ever read. If you like any type of science fiction novels, you will not be able to put this book down, and when you get to the end, you will want more. Does Mr. Bruno plan on writing more books set in this world? I think that he needs to. I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.
ObservantRaven 8 months ago
Titanborn reminds me very much of two of my favourite sci-fi novels “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and “Leviathan Wakes” but even with these similarities it stills remains completely unique in its own way to make it a great read. At the start Titanborn seems like a simple detective novel set in space but we soon find out that there is more to Malcom Graves than meets the eye and there is a lot of mystery hidden within his past, none more so than the story of his daughter. At the very start of the book we find out very little about Malcom’s daughter but as the story progresses we find out more bit by bit, this aspect always kept me guessing as at times I found myself thinking are we going to come across his daughter at some stage or when we least expect it. One other aspect I found extremely intriguing is the help that Malcom is assigned by a group of people that very little is known about and as the book progresses we find out a lot more about them and one person in particular. It is this one person in particular that is the most intriguing of all because as the book progresses we see them grow beyond where you might expect them to and their origin will completely shock you. At times I did feel the pace of the book did slow a bit during the political set up scenes but thankfully these were few and far between and didn’t really hurt the pacing of the book. But as well as experiencing some intriguing and mystery in “Titanborn” we also get some great gun slinging action scenes which I think were done very well and always came about the right time in the story. When it comes to the titanborn themselves we learn very little about what and who they are but we learn enough to help build a base knowledge about them and make us want to learn more about them in the sequels. From reading this review you might think that I have told you very little but this is completely intentional as there are a lot of intrigue and mystery that I don’t want to spoil therefore it is very difficult to say too much about this book. With all of the above in mind I would highly recommend this book particularly to fans of sci-fi books such as “Leviathan Wakes” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. This book will always keep you guessing and leave you wanting more and I always found myself wanting to read more. If you want to know more about what goes on in this book then I severely recommend picking this up.
ScifiandScary 8 months ago
Titanborn was a solid read. The characters were well-developed, the action was well-paced. The tech was always believable with nothing seeming ridiculously far-fetched. Malcolm and Zhaff were the perfect compliments to each other, with Zhaff refreshingly not playing the mouthy young upstart. Actually, as the book went on, I found myself identifying with Zhaff. He’s socially awkward, relies on his skills and learning to get him through, but is a strong, reliable figure. The partnership between the two developed naturally enough that it didn’t seem forced. Bruno does a good job spinning the tale out as they travel from earth to the rings of Saturn and to Titan itself, and the ending definitely took me by (pleasant) surprise. Of note, though, was Titanborn, though filled with action, didn’t seem to be a fast-paced engrossing read. Instead it was one filled with quiet enjoyment. Easy to walk away from, yet easy to get lost in as well. Its the type of story that draws you in with a certain subtlety that makes it so you don’t even realize it’s hooked you until you’re half done with the book. Overall, the author has done a good job with Titanborn, and is definitely a science fiction author to keep your eye on in the future. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
SRandall 8 months ago
Thanks to Bruno, I have rekindled my sci-fi roots that were starting to dry up. As a reviewer, I often get asked to read various genres, but nothing makes me more eager than when it is a story that comes from the fantastical and star gliding side of the book world. Bruno has become a writer I have featured more than once on this blog, and will continue to do so, as long as he continues to write. As a writer, Bruno is an awesome world builder, creating populated planets with frantic, chaotic human depravity. And complex characters that fill the reader with hope as we witness their evolution. I am always satisfied with his character development and only wish to see more of these characters I become attached to. In his previous series, The Circuit, I became attached to an android named ADIM, who I felt was the heart of the story, which is the irony since he has no physical heart. In Titanborn, a completely separate series, I find myself drawn to Zhaff, a uniquely intelligent human that lacks social graces, reminding me of someone who might have a degree of Asperger’s. The characters I find myself drawn to, are not the witty, friendly characters, but the complicated android and the socially awkward Zhaff, who we begin to warm up to as the story progresses. Both these characters are different than the humanoid swarms that populate the cities, and because of their differences they become my favorite characters. They end up being the reason I want to keep reading, I want to know their stories in their entirety. Titanborn will keep you reading as you follow Malcolm Graves, the collector, a corporate bounty hunter and Zhaff, a cogent initiative with skills that surpass the everyday normal, through their investigative journey to track down terrorists throughout the galaxy. I whipped through the story fairly quickly, eager for more. The finale, left me depressed and needing to know how it will continue. My only desire is that Bruno writes quickly, so that I can continue the journey. If you are a science fiction lover, and enjoy gun blazing show downs with a flair of family drama, I believe this story is for you.
CharityRowell-Stansbury 8 months ago
I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Our protagonist Malcolm Graves is a bit like Hans Solo and Captain Malcolm Reynolds ("Mal"); he does not like asking questions, and he does not like becoming involved in the political or moral implications of his assignments. However, like the Hans and Mal, he will do the right thing; eventually. I find it hard to dislike a protagonist who has a good heart, a knack for getting out of tough situations, and wields sarcasm and wit along with a gun. Bruno drops readers into the action immediately, but still does a great job of introducing Malcolm Graves using his vivid memories and engaging dialogue with other characters. Since I am a science fiction fan-girl, I knew that I was in for a wild ride; I strapped myself down and waited for chaos to ensue. It does not take long for the chaos to ensue, and readers will find themselves following Malcolm as he travels through amazing landscapes and dank underground tunnels to track down his quarry. To complement these brilliantly detailed settings, Bruno created a compelling cast of characters that range from shady to morally upright for Malcolm to encounter. For fans of movies and television shows like "Star Wars" and "Firefly," some aspects of the plot are predictable. However, it is the journey and the means by which Malcolm discovers his employer's moral ambiguity that make the plot interesting. I will say this; I saw one twist at the end coming, but the ending itself was unexpected. I really enjoyed this book; the characters that Bruno created and his detail in describing the setting make this book shine. If you enjoy space operas like "Star Wars" and "Firefly," Titanborn is a must-have for your science fiction library.
HStone 8 months ago
"Quarantine was a generous term. It was closer to a morgue." Sometimes you want to read a book that pulls you quickly through the story, so you don't spend long agonizing over what exciting thing will happen next. Titanborn is one such novel. A fast-paced SF romp, the story takes the reader through the seedy underbelly of a distant future where humanity is obsessed with spreading out across the solar system. The main character, Malcolm Graves, is not a completely likable guy, but that's what makes him compelling. Here is a man who claims his work is nothing personal, entering into an assignment that dredges up his most intimate connections. Malcolm strikes just the right balance between wit and instinct—in many ways, he feels like a spiritual successor to Blade Runner's Rick Deckard, while his partner, Zhaff, reminded me of Data from Star Trek. An intriguing parternship, even if I didn't particularly care for the latter. While the story features some dark (albeit realistic) world-building, it never loses its sense of adventure and fun. Bruno's writing style is concise; often I felt like I was watching a movie because his illustrations were so clear in my mind, and the blocking sharp during action sequences. I look forward to any possible sequels in the future.