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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

(The Salvagers #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,068 ratings  ·  844 reviews
Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she might have stumbled on something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation an
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Orbit
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Volimance That's a loaded question, but there is (so far) definitely a female/female romance budding so far. I happen to like woman who fight in my fiction, so …moreThat's a loaded question, but there is (so far) definitely a female/female romance budding so far. I happen to like woman who fight in my fiction, so needless to say that I loved the early "courtship" of this particular relationship so far (I'm only in part II as of this reply)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,068 ratings  ·  844 reviews

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Start your review of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers, #1)
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
**UPDATE: $2.99 on kindle US today 7/16/20

Boots glanced back as the armor sampled the air closer to her neck. They both flinched. "Okay, that thing just sniffed me."
Orna didn’t bother to look back. "Ranger will do that."
"Ranger? It has a name?"
"All great weapons have names."
"Great weapons don’t sniff people."
"Mine do."

I love this book soooo much!! I fell in love with the characters and of course some die 😫. I’m still looking forward to the next book!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Victoria Schwab
Thoroughly enjoyed this one!
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Kitty Jay and Firefly
This is the literary equivalent of the weekend action-adventure movie. Although initially slow to grab me, in the end I found it both unpredictable and enjoyable.

Over in the personal growth story, it begins Fast and Furious, with Nilah, a car-racing champion, successfully dodging an accident on the track. Meanwhile, in the post-war PTSD story, Boots, former Lieutenant, is dodging her old captain, who undoubtedly wants payback after she sold him some bogus treasure maps. When someone at the racet
Nicholas Eames
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. The story was fantastic, the pacing was break-neck, and everything about the setting--from the sorcery-powered race cars, to the spaceships, and starfighters, to the badass murderous exoskeleton named Ranger--was incredible. Best of all, however, are the characters. Between the copious action scenes are so many beautiful, perfectly-written moments as the cast conflicts, copulates, and tries their best to coexist with one another. I love a well-crafted heart-to-heart, and this ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
First, the fine and the good:

It reads like any number of treasure hunting (or salvaging) space opera tomes in that we're focused on an ensemble cast with quirks, heisty moments, and quite a few getaway chases. Lots of action and overall, I have nothing I want to complain about when it comes to this. I was thinking of the Italian Job at a few moments, and later of the ONE BIG SCORE kind of trope later on. Fun? Sure! Overall I'm a sucker for this kind of story. The underdogs get rich against all o

Once again I’m out of step with the consensus. I don’t get why people are besotted with this book. I appreciate the fact that White skipped the pretense of calling the space magic system by another name, such as The Force (Star Wars), biotics (Mass Effect), or telepathy/telempathy (Star Trek), and just went ahead and called it magic.

But other than that this is just a bog-standard Mary Sue clichefest. The race car driver is the BEST race car driver EVER. The doctor is the BEST doctor EVER. T
Take A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, replace the alien crew members by humans (but keep it diverse and queer AF) and add lots and lots of action AND ALSO MAGIC and you've got A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

This found-family/anti-hero squad of space witches takes you on one hell of a ride, FEELS and sexual tension galore included.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
This was reasonably entertaining. I loved the diverse cast of characters who, for the most part, were nicely fleshed out. The dialogue was good with bits of humour sprinkled in. The world created was interesting, providing a neat SF setting where almost everyone is a magic user.

The story moves along well and mostly the pacing is pretty good. A few parts could have been written a bit more clearly, but generally I thought it was solid. That said, although there were a lot of positive elements, ov
Jes Reads
Thank you to Orbit books for sending me this book free of charge for my honest review

"Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows a ragtag group of adventurers as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to clearing their name and saving the universe.

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she's washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but
Allison Hurd
DNF @34%

This was very much not for me. I honestly didn't like anything about it. I was hopeful because the magic seemed kind of cool and at first I was interested in the mystery but everything got waaaay stilted and I stopped caring. Overall issues I had (while recognizing others found this to be a fun romp):

-The opening. The first two chapters are really quite offputting. Watching racing isn't terribly fun for people who aren't enthusiasts--reading racing is excruciating. On top of that the cha
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe showed so much potential from its premise. You have an egotistical speed racer who loses her fame, fortune and friends after she is framed for a murder she did not commit. You have an ex-military pilot turned celebrity treasure hunter, except her biggest score didn’t pan out the way she’d hoped. All of this is set to the backdrop of space with a magical twist, because in this world, s
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Treasure Planet? but not really
In my review of A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, I recommended the book to fans of Treasure Planet. I take that back. If any book warrants a comparison to Treasure Planet, it’s this one. I just wish it was anywhere near as good as Treasure Planet.

I guess I didn’t pay close enough attention to the genres this book is shelved in; I was expecting pure science fiction, but it’s actually a blend of science fiction and fantasy, which could have been fun with better worldbuilding. Or just more worl
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of the books I picked up for #SpaceOperaSeptember and I am so glad to finally have tried this series out. It's a snarky space F1 with magic powered cars and space dwellers too :) lots going on and lots to enjoy, especially if you're into cars or racing as that's a big aspect.

We follow two main characters, Boots who is a retired member of the crew and part of a planet who's civilisation largely died out a few years back; we then have Nilah who is a race car driver and is aiming to be
K.J. Charles
A twistily plotted magic-and-tech story with lots of fights, a willingness to kill important characters, and a strongly female-led cast including a f/f romance. Extremely sinister villain and a terrific premise once we actually learn what's going on, which isn't till the last 25% or so. I didn't have a strong emotional connection to the characters to go along with the plot rush, which might be the book or might just be me. ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you combine futuristic car racing, intergalactic treasure hunting, evil government conspiracies, renegade space pirates, and universe-spanning glyph magic? You get Alex White’s incredibly fun and engaging A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, the first book of the “Salvagers” series. This is a solid pick for a summer beach read, an action-heavy adventure with a nearly all-female cast of kickass protagonists that feels ready-made for a blockbuster film treatment. Although t ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I got this from NetGalley/Orbit and I was really excited but I’m late for my review – sorry I got way behind schedule there for a little bit.

I didn’t know what to expect from this, I didn’t even read the blurb before opening it so when the first scene was about racing futuristic sci-fi cars with wings that run on magic I was sort of taken aback. It was fast paced and fun but took a sharp turn when one of the main characters, Nihla, is on the track and gets attacked. A creepy animalistic type wom
Scott  Hitchcock
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Lunar Chronicles
Shelves: urban-fantasy, sci-fi
A fantasy\sci-fi blend that's really a 101 class in either but yet I liked it. The characters were enjoyable. The story predictable but fun. Lots of genre memes that read like YA but yet there was a dark undercurrent I found enjoyable. ...more
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"This whole treasure hunt had been one weird thing after another--gods and prophets, culture arks and secret bases, mutineers and secret branches of the Taitutian military. And of course, there were the racetrack glyphs, too."

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe opens strong. It quite literally begins with a race. A race across a massive spaceship. In sorcery-powered race cars. Yes. SORCERY-POWERED RACE CARS! Then there is a crushing scene that puts all of the proverbial pieces on the board an
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
One of the best sci fi space junkie books I’ve read in ages. It’s got some wonderful characters that end up feeling like family, breath taking action sequences, massive galaxy encompassing stakes and also captures the spirit of some of my other favourite books and movies. The plot unfolds at a frenetic pace and gives the reader no time at all before they and the characters are thrown in the deep end. The writing is never slow or bogged down with too much information, the magic system is undefine ...more
Robin Bonne
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the space opera that I didn’t know I even needed. Between Boots and Nilah, there was so much badass female energy and nonstop action.

I must read the next book!
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, light, fast-moving space opera with some interesting characters. There was nothing deep about this book; just frothiness and fun.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Read this and more reviews at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Space is a pretty big place and sometimes you need a map to find the real treasures out there. Lizzie "Boots" Elsworth is a washed up treasure hunter who sells fake treasure maps for a quick buck. When she sells a fake map to an old crew of hers but Little did she know that she would soon be with that old crew again looking for the legend of a ship, The Harrow.

Nilah Brio is a famous Race care driver and when she is framed for the murder of a
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A fun science fiction adventure story with magic thrown in, but extremely derivative of popular SF.

In a far future humanity has spread throughout the galaxy and also has access to magical powers through a new part of the brain. Nilah Brio is a race car driver and mechanist (magic that allows her to mentally join with and control technology). As she's leading her current race, a powerful magic user appears and assassinates another driver after briefly interrogating him. The murdered driver mentio
This was so entertaining. Fast paced, funny, great characters. Especially Boots, although Nilah really grew on me as she evolved from an over privileged brat to a woman able to see the inequality all around her. Also a terrific AI named Kinnard. This is a universe where Science and magic are equally important, and the novel was like the love child of Star Wars, Firefly and Oceans Eleven but with far higher stakes. I look forward to the next book in this series.
Originally posted to I Should Read That

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe is a book that caught my eye with its gorgeous cover, amazing blurbs (Nicholas Eames!), and fun premise. Despite buying it over a year ago, it sat on my shelf until January (typical) when I picked it up for a buddy read with a friend. Unfortunately, I came away from this book incredibly disappointed! The buddy read is the only thing that kept me from DNFing it early on.

This book seems pretty divisive -- people either l
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

There’s nothing I didn’t really like about this book. I just didn’t love it. It’s about a rag-tag spaceship crew. There are a lot of those, and most are a lot of fun. I never liked this crew very much. Their personalities were rather bland and indistinct. If they were in danger or got killed, I had zero emotional reaction. It also took about half the book to actually become a cohesive team, and I like my space crews and heist teams to work together from ear
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
I've been hyped to read this book by many readers on instagram and it did not fail! This is a stunning action packed crazy fast paced space adventure. Holy farts, it's good! The characters are fun and lovable with all their own quirks. The way they are introduced and form a bond is exciting to read. There is also magic in this world, people have all kinds of specific magic that they can wield, a few sadly dont. Right from the beginning things escalate and one of the characters gets chased by a v ...more
David Agranoff
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: space-opera

You can discount my feelings on this book because I only made it 100 pages in. I don't think this is really that bad just it didn't work for me. The world-building had too many holes. My image of this universe was too vague, the character I just didn't connect to. I just didn't like the mixture of magic and space opera.

I was also off-put by the constant comparisons to Firefly. It is not the author's fault but that set a super high bar for me. The author has plenty of fans, writes pretty goo
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Really this should be a movie or tv series! Lots of action and characters that would be fun to watch.
Oleksandr Zholud
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a SF-fantasy novel, which can become a Hugo 2019 Award nominee. This is a part of a larger series, supposedly a trilogy.

The genre can be described as high-tech fantasy or space opera fantasy: the universe, where most if not all tech is based on magic and where almost anyone is magic-user. It may be a part of new wave, where writers instead of hand waving advanced tech, just state that this is magic, like Ninefox Gambit did.

The story starts with the race on magic-fueled cars. The protagon
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Alex White was born and raised in the American south. They take photos, write music and spend hours on YouTube watching other people blacksmith. They value challenging and subversive writing, but they’ll settle for a good time.

In the shadow of rockets in Huntsville, Alabama, Alex lives and works as an experience designer with their spouse, son, two dogs and a cat named Grim. Favored past times inc

Other books in the series

The Salvagers (3 books)
  • A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy (The Salvagers #2)
  • The Worst of All Possible Worlds (The Salvagers, #3)

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