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A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

(The Salvagers #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,622 ratings  ·  497 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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David Heyes 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)

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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,622 ratings  ·  497 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
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!
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
 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
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
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.
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
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
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!
~Dani~ LazyTurtle's Books
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
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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.
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.
Ash | EmeraldBookOwl
What do you get when you combine an intergalactic treasure hunt, space pirates, magical abilities, and futuristic racing all woven together by an almost all female cast seeking to expose a government conspiracy? You have Alex White's A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, the first book in his brand new Salvagers series.

The story is told through alternate points of view between Nilah Brio, a talented young, spoiled, and dramatic race car driver and Elizabeth "Boots" Elsworth, a veteran pilot tu
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haaa this was really great!! ✨

The middle was a rollercoaster of emotions, but one that always go up and up, maybe more like a rocket of emotions then! I didn't think I'd end up liking this so much, during the first 20% I didn't know what to think but then I was quickly won over by the characters and everything going on

A big ship at the end of the universe made me think of a mix between The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (I mean even the title!), Fortune's Pawn and Revenger. Though there are
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
Liz Barnsley
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of those times when a random arbitrary book purchase worked out really well for me because I LOVED this book.
The world Alex White has created here is vividly imagined, a mixture of science and magic and populated with fascinating, highly engaging characters.
This is kind of a “motley crew randomly save the universe” type story, beautifully plotted and highly addictive. Descriptively gorgeous with an occasionally epic feel, the story fairly rocks along with lots of adventure, plenty of
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

I liked A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, I thought it was fun. It's very quick, tons of action, and spaciness. It didn't hit that Firefly sweet spot for me though. It was good, it was enjoyable, but it wasn't the best spacey thing I've ever read. I never really fell in love with the story.
The characters were fine, but they all stayed kind of distant. I never really connected with any of them. The best character for me had to be Boots. Nilah was just ehh. And the rest of the crew weren't f
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This was 2.5 stars for me, rounded up to 3, because it’s not the book’s fault, that it just doesn’t hit my preferences.

I guess the story would have been okay as a video game or a TV series. As a book it was lacking depth. Cool characters talking cool stuff just didn’t connect with me. I didn’t care for anybody, which in itself isn’t automatically a problem, since I can get swept away by SF-stories where the plot captures me. Yet the plot and the setting with racing, fighting, space pirating, ran
'He is the only uninjured crew member, though I've expressed concern for his emotional well-being.'


I love this sassy crew so damn much and then there's Ranger, the mechanized battle armor/pet and also the real MVP of the book. It's so amazing to see them start out barely able to tolerate each other and then just dive into danger head-on for each other 😭😭

It's also great to see a 40+ (and not pu
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
The quote on the back cover is what caught my attention: " Do you miss Firefly? Do you want it back?... this book is damn close.". Well damn, who wouldn't want to give that a try, just to get a taste of something like that sweet, sweet Firefly nectar? (Yes, I'm still grieving the show).

The comparisons with Firefly are obvious, although the spirit is not replicated. Here we have a spaceship crew of broken people, many of them survivors from the losing side of a past war, operating outside of the
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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)