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From Hugo Award-winning debut author Suzanne Palmer comes an action-packed sci-fi caper starring Fergus Ferguson, interstellar repo man and professional finder.

Fergus Ferguson has been called a lot of names: thief, con artist, repo man. He prefers the term finder.

His latest job should be simple. Find the spacecraft Venetia's Sword and steal it back from Arum Gilger, ex-nobleman turned power-hungry trade boss. He'll slip in, decode the ship's compromised AI security, and get out of town, Sword in hand.

Fergus locates both Gilger and the ship in the farthest corner of human-inhabited space, a gas-giant-harvesting colony called Cernee. But Fergus' arrival at the colony is anything but simple. A cable car explosion launches Cernee into civil war, and Fergus must ally with Gilger's enemies to navigate a field of space mines and a small army of hostile mercenaries. What was supposed to be a routine job evolves into negotiating a power struggle between factions. Even worse, Fergus has become increasingly--and inconveniently--invested in the lives of the locals.

It doesn't help that a dangerous alien species thought mythical prove unsettlingly real, and their ominous triangle ships keep following Fergus around.

Foolhardy. Eccentric. Reckless. Whatever he's called, Fergus will need all the help he can get to take back the Sword and maybe save Cernee from destruction in the process.

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 2, 2019

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Suzanne Palmer

63 books325 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 476 reviews
Profile Image for carol..
1,504 reviews7,568 followers
February 28, 2022
It didn’t occur to me while reading, but when I set out to review, well, there’s this Scottish Earther-turned-Martian-rebel repo man, Fergus Feguson, far out in the farthest reaches of the human-occupied galaxy on a run to reclaim a stolen starship for some Shipmaker friends:

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He meets up with a friendly, feisty, elderly lichen farmer who turns out to be a good person to know in a pinch, which leads him to her extended family and their neighbor the weapons dealer.

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He’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up touching off a troublesome series of events that were probably going to happen anyway.

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But don’t worry, this is a good kind of book.

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It was particularly fun in the use of gravity and deep space, requiring me to think a little harder about the spatial dynamics of what was happening. Yes, there's probably a few problems, but you don't read a book like this looking for them. You strap in and go for the ride.

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Though the start seemed a bit slow the first time through, I suspect that's mostly a world-building issue, as it literally starts with a bang. Did I notice the second time through? Not in the least. Did Palmer stick the ending? I'm not entirely sure she did. Perhaps there was a bit too much suspension of disbelief required, a genre mix (general spoiler) that I'd rather have avoided, but ends up being used to great effect in the next book.

Recommended for fans of Leviathan Wakes, Locke Lamora, Kitty Jay series, Blade Runner, Star Wars–you know, fans of rogues with-a-heart-of-gold, fast action and daring heroics.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,425 reviews9,009 followers
December 25, 2021
Fergus Ferguson, the extremely-likable protagonist of Finder, is a repo man, IN SPACE.



In this incredibly action-packed tale, we follow Ferguson on a mission to recover the stolen spacecraft, Venetia's Sword.

Ultimately, he is able to track it down in the farthest reaches of human-inhabited space, but due to complications, is unable to commandeer it as quickly as he had hoped.



Arum Gilger, the bad guy who stole the ship, transported it to a harvesting colony called Cernee.

There he functions as a sort of criminal overlord and the locals aren't happy with him or his bullying ways.



As Fergus arrives, the colony finds itself newly engaged in a civil war.

Before long, Fergus ends up banding together with Gilger's enemies and participating in their local battles. Not ideal and certainly not how he normally operates.



I had so much fun reading this book. Palmer's world creation is incredible. I felt like I was part of the action which is literally, NON-STOP!!!

At times, I was a little lost, I have to admit, but once I refocused myself, I was able to catch up pretty quickly.



Fergus Ferguson is a smart, creative, humorous, engaging and humble main character.

I absolutely loved him!! I cannot wait to read more adventures with him at the helm.



There were great side characters as well who had well fleshed out personalities and motivations.

I think this is a great start to a new series and y'all know, I will definitely be coming back for more!



Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I know this series is going to keep getting better and better and I am totally looking forward to being along for the ride!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,878 reviews22.6k followers
April 26, 2019
Adventures of a space-age repo man! Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Fergus Ferguson, a large, redheaded man from Scotland by way of Mars, has made a “career out of chasing things and running away.” He’s running away from his past, for reasons that gradually become clear. But right now he’s focused on chasing something: an expensive, sentient spaceship, Venetia’s Sword, that was stolen from its makers by Arum Gilger, a criminal mob boss. This repo mission has led Fergus to Cerneken or “Cernee,” a haphazard space colony consisting of a ring station surrounded by a of hundreds of marginally-habitable rocks, metal cans and dead ships, all tied together with a web of cables, with cable cars running passengers between the various habitats. Here Gilger has his home base, one of the “big five” powers on Cernee.

Fergus has a plan and a secret method of taking control of Venetia’s Sword, shared with him by the shipbuilders. But things go wrong for Fergus right from the start, when he almost gets killed in a cable car explosion in the space colony. It looks like Gilger isn’t willing to share power much longer. Fergus allies with Gilger’s enemies, who have their own issues with the power-hungry boss, and puts his plan into play, but there are complications … including some mysterious aliens with their own agenda.

Finder is part heist story and part rescue mission, as Fergus finds that he needs to return to Mars to save a kidnapped young woman who’s being used as a pawn in one of Gilger’s plots. Fergus is a hero who’s still finding himself, carrying wounds from his childhood on Earth and his participation in a rebellion on Mars years ago. He comes up with farfetched but brilliant plans on the fly, and it’s great fun to watch him run various cons on his enemies. One creative plan involving foil wrap, sticky candy, tennis balls, and vibrating sex toys is a can’t-miss experience.

The brisk pace and almost non-stop action will keep readers engaged, but Finder has more depth than one might think from the plot description. The characters have interesting (and often mixed) motivations, and Suzanne Palmer has clearly put a lot of thought into her worldbuilding. Cernee is a complex setting, with memorable details like “flysticks” that enable riders to jet between the different habitats (Fergus manages to steal a flystick that fills the space around him with sparkles and glowing holographic cartoon images). The interlude on Mars shows us glimpses of a richly imagined society there as well, peeking around the edges of the main plot.

I’ve been enchanted by Palmer’s short fiction, especially the Hugo award-winning novelette “The Secret Life of Bots.” I was expecting the same type of whimsical humor here, but Finder is more of a straightforward SF action/adventure tale, which disappointed me, although there’s frequently humor in the dialogue and descriptions.
Everyone stood as a woman strode into the room, visibly armed, dressed in a spotless Authority uniform with no rank insignia except a yellow X embroidered on the stiff upright color. She was short even among Cernee natives but built like a tank, if tanks were constructed entirely of muscle and disapproval.
Finder is an imaginative and action-packed tale. The ending leaves a few open questions, like, what are those aliens planning anyway? And why did they do … that particular thing they did to Fergus? There’s plenty of room for more adventures and exploits to come for Fergus Ferguson, and Palmer has more books in this series in the works.

Thanks to the publicist and Daw Books for the free review copy!

Initial post: Whoa! I just realized that this just-published SF novel - which has been languishing on my bookshelf of unrequested review copies - Is by the author of two of my favorite recent short stories: The Secret Life of Bots ( which won a Hugo award last year) and Thirty-Three Percent Joe. Guess I know what I’m reading next!
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
1,988 reviews2,583 followers
May 13, 2019
4 of 5 stars at the BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/05/12/...

If you’re ever in need of something to brighten your day or give you a nice shot of energy after you find that a string of heavier, ponderous books has sapped your all your motivation, Finder by Suzanne Palmer is exactly the kind of pick-me-up the situation calls for. It’s nothing too deep or fancy, but it sure as hell gets the job done.

This is a tale set in the far-flung future, following the escapades of our protagonist Fergus Ferguson. A self-described finder, it’s his job to chase down some of the galaxy’s most notorious criminals to retrieve lost or stolen items, a position which hasn’t earned him much popularity, though the same cannot be said about the number of his enemies. His latest gig is a mission to steal back a spaceship from a egomaniacal ex-nobleman turned crime lord named Arum Gilger, who has been making a big splash lately with his ever expanding sphere or influence and power. However, as Fergus makes his way to the remote system called Cernee where he has located Gilger and the stolen ship, the cable car he was traveling in is attacked. Fergus barely escapes with his life, but his fellow passenger, a kind and pleasant older lady with whom he had established a friendly rapport in the introduction to the novel, does not make it.

Little does he know, that brief connection they shared will lead to much deeper and wide-spread consequences. Recovering from the attack, Fergus finds himself tangled up with the locals and their plight. Cernee is now plunged into a civil war, and our protagonist will have no choice but to fight alongside his newfound allies against Gilger and his dastardly plans to seize control over their colony. Meanwhile, the fight is further complicated by the emergence of a mysterious alien species that was long thought to be a myth, adding another layer of action and intrigue to an already compelling mix.

Finder was a boatload of fun, no other description really required. It’s the kind of book where you can let your thinking mind take a backseat while you break out the popcorn and indulge in a breakneck, high-octane space adventure. But most impressively, despite all the nonstop action, Palmer still manages to set aside some time for world-building and character development, creating in Fergus Ferguson a well-rounded and likeable protagonist you just can’t help but root for. Although he was born on Earth (hailing from Scotland, naturally), Fergus blew off the earth at a young age and has been bouncing around the galaxy ever since, making a name for himself as a kind of space repo man. As far as sci-fi scoundrels go, I love the direction the author has chosen with our main character, and his personalities traits and life experiences are as interesting as you’d expect.

Then, there’s the humor. Featuring a mixed bag of genuinely laugh-out-loud comedy combined with a healthy dose of groan-worthy jokes and cheesy slapstick, this novel is guaranteed to have something for everyone. The lightness also keeps this one from becoming too gritty and dark amidst all the explosive violence and action. Fergus has a talent for getting himself into tight situations again and again, but tensions are lessened by the slick dialogue and the story’s easy ability to make you laugh.

Fergus’ interactions with the other characters also deserve a mention. No matter how endearing or charismatic they are, few characters can carry a story on their own, and to be sure, much of the entertainment I derived from Finder was thanks to Fergus’ personality and background being bound up in the lives of the other supporting characters he meets. The people of Cernee felt real, and so did their problems. Palmer’s world-building skills are on full display here, when you consider the sheer effort that must have gone into the creation of this intricate little community and their role in the wider network of systems beyond. The emotional connection I felt towards Fergus’ new friends came very naturally, and consequently their relationship dynamics and interactions also felt well-written and believable.

All told, Suzanne Palmer has brought to life a surprisingly developed and well-layered space adventure, considering how strong the emphasis was on delivering fast-paced action and thrills. A novel debut for her, Finder clearly shows that making the jump from short stories to long form fiction is not a problem for the author. While you won’t be getting anything too deep or sophisticated with this one, there’s no denying that it’s a lot of fun.
Profile Image for Gary.
442 reviews185 followers
April 2, 2019
One advantage of being an accomplished short story writer is knowing how to get the ball rolling. It doesn’t take Suzanne Palmer long to ingratiate readers to Fergus Ferguson, the hero of her debut novel Finder: he has an appreciation for ironic self-deprecation and for little old ladies who can survive out in “The Gap”, a sparsely populated region of space near the outskirts of the galaxy. Being nice to old ladies may be a cheap ploy for sympathy by the author, but it works, and it’s undeniably efficient. No sooner are Fergus’ profession (a kind of interstellar repo man called a “finder”) and goal (to retrieve a stolen ship called Venetia’s Sword) and prospective enemy (small-pond robber-baron Arum Gilger, who stole the ship) established through his salty banter with tough-as-nails native Mattie “Mother” Vahn, than a escalating sequence of obstacles come cascading down in front of Fergus, and the novel picks up the breathless pace it sustains through the end. This narrative formula serves Palmer’s celebrated shorter works well, as her Hugo-winning novelette “The Secret Lives of Bots” can attest. Palmer’s writing doesn’t sacrifice subtlety or nuance, she just knows how to use such tools without disrupting the tempo. The pace she sustains in Finder mostly benefits it, and it’s so entertaining that the ways it falls short are easy to forgive.
Fergus is a Scotsman, Earth-born but allied to the generations of Martian émigrés living under harsh earther occupation. He’d rather avoid bringing up his past: people know him as a hero of the Mars resistance even as far out as anarchic Cernee, a rock ruled by a loose confederation of chieftains and the loyalists in their employ. He doesn’t see himself the way others do, but he has a penchant for executing outrageous schemes to achieve his ends. The heist he must pull off to retrieve Venetia’s Sword is akin to jacking a smart car with a keyless entry, though getting past the ruthless Gilger and his enforcer Borr Graf prove to be the most harrowing part of his task: Gilger has chosen the day of Fergus’ arrival to make a play for total domination of Cernee. Now Fergus and his allies—Mother Vahn’s family of identical offspring who swear they’re not clones and Gilger’s longtime rival Harcourt—find their plan to put the squeeze on Gilger turned into a brutal fight for survival. Further complicating matters are the Asiig, a mysterious and terrifying alien race who mostly carry out ominous flybys over Cernee in their black triangle-shaped ships, abducting random citizens then returning them days later in, shall we say, a different state from how they found them. And the Asiig have taken an interest in Fergus and the conflict on Cernee.
It would be an understatement to say Palmer has a gift for piling on the plot factors. That she can sustain such an approach over the course of a story that is something like a dozen-fold longer than the stories she usually writes is impressive. She takes a block-by-block approach to building her world and her characters’ back stories, distributing little bits of context clues and expository statements to brace up the larger context. This combination of depth and efficiency elevates Finder above the rabble of space operas that crowd the current SF marketplace.
The story stretches out like a rubber band from Cernee back to Sol System and Mars, then snaps back to Cernee for the grand finale. This is the only element of the novel that didn’t sit well with me. I understand the author’s need to reconnect Fergus emotionally with his past on Mars, and while the reason she contrives to get him there is integrated into the plot early on it still came across as forced. There was perhaps also a sensible desire to liberate the action from the confines of a single location. I felt that the mcguffin Palmer uses to lure him back to his roots isn’t developed well enough beyond its functional purpose and is a non-factor once Palmer returns us to the main storyline.
None of that changes the fact that Finder is a thrilling space adventure from an expert hand who loves the art of genre storytelling. There is so much happening with this setting and so much potential for growing it even more. It's also a welcome slice of madcap fun, full of rich, fully realized characters and delightful far future odds and ends.

Many thanks to DAW Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 149 books37.5k followers
Read
April 1, 2019
If you've ever been to Disneyland and ridden the original Star Wars ride (the one that seats you in a kind of cable car, and you begin floating along, then suddenly it jerks and takes a wild turn, begins to fall . . .) well, you'd have my visual image of this book.

It starts out so pleasantly, as Fergus Ferguson, a big red-head, rides a cable car with an elderly woman who is carrying a bunch of crates of lichen to sell.

A jerk, and things rapidly begin going wrong, setting off a wild adventure that keeps on accelerating until the very end.

I loved this book. I adored Fergus, whose inventiveness just about matches his ability to get himself into trouble. I loved the people of Cernee, especially prickly Mari , Good-hearted, sardonic Bale, and a host of other characters. The villains you love to hate, the action is so vivid it's cinematic, and the humor frequently had me chuckling, yet it didn't diminish the rising tension.

I loved this story, loved Fergus, loved Cernee--and loved the intriguing aliens, especially the Asiig. I really hope that Palmer intends to write more about them all.

Copy provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Eva.
175 reviews102 followers
July 11, 2021
4.5 stars: If you're looking for a novel that will remind you of what you felt when watching Firefly, this is it. It was much better than I was expecting, and I loved all the quirky characters and humor.

What it's all about: our Scottish protagonist, Fergus Ferguson, wants to save/repossess an intelligent ship from its current unlawful owner, who's one of the big powers in a small colony which is a collection of habitats surrounding a gas giant in a far-off system. This is the kind of grimy, make-shift, frontier sort of Science Fiction environment filled with eccentric characters I always tend to like. Right after his arrival, Fergus is injured in a terrorist attack, and gets to know a group of all-female lichen farmers living in one of the habitats in space, whom he decides to help as well. Despite of being a repo man, Fergus has a good heart, and ends up getting very invested in this small community and the internal war that breaks out. He also has very funny, unconventional ideas on how to solve all sorts of problems, which I found very amusing. Also positive (for me): there was no silly romance here, just really good friendships. There's also aliens and some deeper mysteries...

There were some minor weaknesses: a few unlikely coincidences, some imperfect science (e.g. I doubt that you can just zap people with electricity to put them into a brief, harmless unconsciousness), but I didn't care due to being so charmed by it all.

What impressed me most was how Palmer managed to combine such a fast-paced plot and well-written action with a pretty deep character study, that never got bogged down by anything. It tugged at the heart-strings while also making me laugh and delivering some really great adventure.

This is definitely going to be an author I'll read more from.

A word of warning: don't choose the audio version, it contains a few mistakes that make it very confusing. In addition, there are so many new words used in this world that it's much easier to grasp what's happening when you're eye-reading it.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,226 reviews394 followers
April 21, 2019
Fergus Ferguson is a swashbuckler: born in Scotland, running away to Mars where he starts an uprising against the fascist colonial authority, then running away again his problems/guilt to become a repo man. He is supposed to steal back a spaceship that was stolen by a gang leader, Arum Gilger, living in a backwater planet called Cernee. As he arrives, his cable car is attacked and he is saved by a grandmother. Fergus then finds himself in the middle of a civil war among gangsters and the government of Cernee. Meanwhile, he is the focus of some really weird aliens with an agenda nobody understands. The book was disjointed, lacked sufficient world-building, and action took precedence over character development at every opportunity. I was bored too frequently to give this book three stars.
Profile Image for Lata.
3,441 reviews180 followers
August 24, 2021
2021-08: Fergus Ferguson is a disaster magnet, even while being wildly inventive at getting himself out of trouble. Not only does his presence seem to set off a long-simmering conflict, but pretty soon it seems everyone wants him dead. And all Fergus wanted to do was repo a sentient ship.
The action is pretty constant, as is the humour, and I'm interested to see what the Asiig's little present does for Fergus in his next outing.

2019-07: 4 stars. This story was fun. I thoroughly enjoyed main character and repo man Fergus Ferguson (who likes alliteration). He's in a region of space to repossess a spaceship, and becomes embroiled in a civil war, tangling with the local government and a local baddie, an arms dealer, clones, and a bizarre and mysterious alien race. Who are fascinated by him.
I've only read one short story by Suzanne Palmer ("Secret Life of Bots") before this, and am glad to say that moving to a long form doesn't diminish her storytelling and characterization skills. Fergus' humour and his inventive problem-solving had me laughing and impressed, and his knack for repeatedly getting into trouble (and out of it.)
Palmer’s writing was assured and inventive, much like Fergus himself. I am eagerly awaiting further Finder stories.
November 20, 2022


💀 DNF at 71%.

This is what happens when the 400-page book you're reading feels like it's 14,859 pages long (at least). Also, don't give a shrimp about any of the characters. Also also, everything is boring as fish. I rest in my case and stuff.



P.S. To all my dear friends who read and loved this book: yeah yeah yeah, I know, you I read it wrong 🤷‍♀️.
Profile Image for Peter Tillman.
3,421 reviews302 followers
August 11, 2019
Finder is a solid debut novel by Suzanne Palmer. It’s a classic life-in-space adventure story, with enough novelty to keep it interesting. You’ve read the publisher’s blurb, right? The primary setting is Cernee, a distant solar system with no inhabitable planet. Instead, people have built a strange jerry-rigged series of habitats, some of reused spaceship hulks, some of mined-out asteroids. And linked by cableways! — a future revival of the old aerial tramways that were once common in 19th century mining, and 20th century skiing. Heh.

The political setup in Cernee is more standard, and less interesting. I’ll let you discover that for yourself. I liked Fergus, the colorful Scots repo-man. I liked the Martian arms-dealer, an honorable man. The weird sort-of cloned lichen farmers were . . . . interesting. Anyway, the plot rocks right along, with more unlikely coincidences than I prefer, plus some first-novel rough spots. But, basically, the charming part is the found-family bit, that Becky Chambers brought back to SF recently.

Oh, and here's terrible-teen Mari meeting an alien spacewoman at Crossroads, her first: “You’re not human!” . . . “I’m sorry, that’s rude.” . . . . “So few people are.” Rimshot!

I liked the alien ball-roaches (with a painful bite) and the related(?) spore-ticks, which are deadly. And an important plot-twist hangs on them. I was less enthused about the mysterious Asiic aliens, who take people and sometimes return them, changed. Advanced technology as magic, I suppose, and likely we will learn more about them in the sequel. Which I look forward to. Recommended reading. My rating: upgraded to a full 4 stars, 8/11/19.

The review to read here is Moggsy's, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"If you’re ever in need of something to brighten your day or give you a nice shot of energy after you find that a string of heavier, ponderous books has sapped your all your motivation, Finder by Suzanne Palmer is exactly the kind of pick-me-up the situation calls for. It’s nothing too deep or fancy, but it sure as hell gets the job done."
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews579 followers
March 24, 2019
Looking for a swashbuckling hero who is part daredevil and part rogue with his own brand of charm? Meet Fergus Ferguson, now on a mission to recover (read that steal back) a certain spacecraft on a remote space settlement. Hang on tight as Suzanne Palmer blasts us of into a space opera adventure that plays out at the speed of light!

FINDER is fast, fun and furious as Fergus attempts to con the conman and retrieve the ship while escaping with his life. All in a day’s work for Fergus, but can he outwit the hostile mercenaries that will be on his tail?

Haven’t tried a space opera yet? Now’s the time to meet Fergus and friends…and enemies. An out of this world escape into reading!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from DAW!

Publisher: DAW
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Genre: Sci-fi | Space Opera
Print Length: 397 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Lee  (the Book Butcher).
237 reviews60 followers
October 6, 2020
A genre mashup with sci-fi themes and settings. strongly reminded me of the westerns i read as a kid. where a "drifter" like hero gets mixed into local unrest and revolves to solve it for everyone's benefit. fans of the show firefly and star war will enjoy this because if any label can be attached here it's gritty sci-fi you see in those.

Fergus Ferguson, yeah that's the MC name, is in Cernee to do a job. Cernee is a satellite space colony on the edge of human occupied space Standard in sci-fi. think western mining town. Fergus is a jack of all trades drifter standard in westerns. He prefers the term finder. think Han solo. i could go on in this manner. There is a farm full of women (western) who happen to be clones (sci-fi). there is a Threating outside presents no one understands like native Americans (Western). who adduct and modify Fergus like classic ET aliens (Sci-fi). well they serve the same purpose in either genre anyway so you can flip that to: Menacing Aliens no one understands seen in sci-fi. that take in and heal Fergus like native American do in westerns. you see the theme of this review already WESTERN IN SPACE! if you're down for that pick this up.

Cernee breaks in civil unrest and Fergus is trapped in the middle as the unknow quantity. Everyone is out to get him or at least get him on there side. Obviously if I'm comparing Fergus to Han solo he is a good character. but the other characters are, ya know, how do i put it. "just locals" you never remember western side characters for a reason. there is no real love interest/romance which i really did not need but found kind of weird. There is a possible love but she really is not interested in Fergus. In fact she hates him. everyone hates him and i don't know why. made him a galvanizing figure. I was rooting for him all the more because those around him weren't. Lagged a lot in the middle with a random trip to mars that added nothing to the plot for me. like to know why it was so important to add to the story from the author's POV. Never would happen in a western must be a sci-fi thing. Westerns tend to have streamlined simple plots. Sci-fi have a little more complex arcs. my only guess is Palmer was seeking a balance here. There is a noticeable turning point involving the aforementioned aliens/native American analogs that changes the story. the series will be built from this i believe. The ending had a dramatic showdown because it had to be being a sci-fi western mashup. That showdown had a bit of originality that i really enjoyed. in the end Fergus rode off into the distance (western) albeit in his self-aware smart spaceship (sci-fi) to the next adventure.

i originally gave this 3 stars because the writing was kind of run of the mill. it was fun but i never fully engaged. it also told very heavy event in a lighthearted way. which is a plus. i think i will check out the sequels in my own time but I'm not feeling compelled to. kind of a lets check back in with our good buddy Fergus type of thing. instead of a OMG what will happened type series. good for marketing. bumped it to 4 stars because it was my kind of thing if westerns or sci-fi not you're type of book than there is not enough here to hold your attention IMO!
Profile Image for Beth.
3,124 reviews262 followers
March 18, 2019
Finder was not my typical read but I found myself captivated by this imaginative space adventure.

Fergus Ferguson is tasked with retrieving a sentient space craft that was stolen from its creators and he finds himself thrust into a space war that only a mastermind could possibly survive.

Lets just say nothing goes as planned by Fergus finds some amazingly loyal companions and some major life lessons along the way.

Like I said earlier, the plot was nothing like I expected but I really enjoyed Palmer's storytelling. I found myself anxiously looking for more clues as we route for Fergus and his friends that he makes along the way.

I received this ARC copy of FINDER from Berkley Publishing Group - DAW. This is my honest and voluntary review. FINDER is set for publication Apr. 2, 2019.

My Rating: 4 stars
Written by: Suzanne Palmer
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: DAW
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
ISBN-10: 0756415101
ISBN-13: 978-0756415105
Genre: Scifi

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Finder-Suzanne...
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/find...
Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/find...
Profile Image for Silvana.
1,112 reviews1,104 followers
October 3, 2020
3.5 stars. It's a quick, fun read. Maybe I did not give it a higher rating because while I don't have specific critics or nitpick, I also did not find many things that made me think ''Oh wow this is fantastic!". What I can say is that it's so fast-paced I somehow auto-skimmed some of the action-y parts just to see where the plot would take me. I really think it works better in visual format so as to see all the mechanics.

Overall, it reminded me of Dark Matter, Killjoy, Firefly, eh you get the gist. The space frontier set also made it a familiar territory. Yep, this is a comfort read for space opera fans. I am still interested to read the next book since I have enjoyed the author's other works.
Profile Image for The Captain.
1,054 reviews351 followers
April 9, 2020
Ahoy there me mateys! I didn’t know that this was the first book in a series but y’all I be so glad cause dang this was fun. The book follows Fergus Ferguson who is sent to repossess a sentient AI ship from Arum Gilger the man who stole it. Gilger lives in a backwaters colony called Cernee. It is supposed to be a slightly tricky but doable job for Fergus. It so isn’t. It’s a mess.

This is one of those stories where Fergus should die multiple times and doesn’t because of zany things that are improbable but not impossible. And fun! This book has a little bit of everything – scary aliens that kidnap people, space battles, gang warfare, smuggling, humor, fantastic characters, and bad guys that it be fun to cheer against. Even though the story is lighter toned, it also has excellent character development, extremely believable world-building, realistic but not overbearing politics, and heart-felt relationships. I also really enjoyed the cultural differences of the various groups of spacefarers. I loved Cernee and the glimpses ye got of other places too. It be a world I wouldn’t mind exploring with a good guide.

It was wonderful to follow Fergus and I loved the way the author provided the reader with backstory and explanations in a manner which folded them into the story without derailing the action or plot. There are cool flying pogo sticks (seriously this makes sense). I want one. I loved all the secondary characters too – snarky teen Mari in particular. And no romance!! By the end of the book, I was sad because I didn’t want to leave the characters and wanted to know more. Luckily I will get me wish. Arrr!

Side note: the e-book of book one is super cheap on Amazon US. Maybe ye should get a copy asap.
Profile Image for Soo.
2,587 reviews255 followers
October 10, 2020
10/10/2020 Notes:

Rating Raised from 3.5 Stars for Characters to 4 Stars

I decided to use my Amazon credit to buy Driving the Deep ebook & audio bundle. Following my current trend, I re-read #1 before diving into the next book. I thought the details for characters and setting were well done. That was reinforced during the re-read and I enjoyed taking it all in for the second time.

It's too easy for a large cast to become two-dimensional and not stand out as individuals. I enjoyed the away Palmer made each character shine as a unique individual. Plus, the aliens are alien. Too often, the aliens are humanized to the point that they do not seem like aliens but another type of humanoid.

08/28/2020 Mini-Review:

Currently on Audible Plus

3.5 Stars for Narration by Joe Hempel
4 Stars for Concepts
3.5 Stars for Plot Progression
3.5 Stars for Characters

The title Finder has multiple meanings that can be applied to the story, character and plot. I like that. Overall, the author tried to pack a lot into the first novel and a little more than half of that worked. I enjoyed the "adventure" vibe of the story and Ferguson was fun to follow on his erratic escapades. It only seemed erratic due to all the content the author tried to pack into the story.

Great intro to a new series & author. I plan to read the next book in the series & hope to get more world building.
Profile Image for Tracy.
603 reviews21 followers
August 12, 2022
This was great. Often funny. Very twisty. I loved so many of the characters, Ferguson, Mari, Bale and Harcourt in particular. The aliens were very interesting as well and so was the Martian politics. I loved the map at the beginning of the book (I adore books with maps) and the place names were awesome: Bugrot, Humbug, Rattletrap to name only a few. Just a really enjoyable book.

August 12, 2022

Just finished the audiobook. I think I loved it even more, loved the characters, the plot, the inventiveness of this strange world. Just great.
Profile Image for Lauren.
101 reviews6 followers
April 11, 2021
I loved this book.
Sci-fi is 90% world building for me and, from page one, this world is engrossing, understandable, and complete. Fergus Ferguson has an affable, dorky charm that reminds me of Alan Tudyk (whom I unabashedly adore).  I am eager to read the next one.
Profile Image for AndrewP.
1,374 reviews31 followers
October 2, 2020
A pretty original story about a futuristic repo man tasked to recover a stolen space ship. This is a fairly light read with space based action, adventure, humor and enough science to maintain the suspension of disbelief. It's not a hard SF book by any means, but better than quite a bit of what passes as SF nowadays.
Overall, if your a fan of John Scalzi or Dennis E Taylor then you will probably enjoy this book, it has a similar tone and feel to it.
Profile Image for Bee.
376 reviews3 followers
May 30, 2022
Finder was pretty good, pretty entertaining, but nothing amazing. I liked the story, and I will continue the series. But more out of comfortable curiosity than a desperate need to know what happens. There was a little too much magical thinking for my like. Too many plot loops where just conveniently written away but a last minute great idea that could never work, but obviously did. That being said, I was invested until the end. A solid three stars.
Profile Image for Kara Babcock.
1,892 reviews1,210 followers
August 13, 2019
It’s fashionable among a certain throwback segment of science fiction fans to claim that the entrance of so many new women writers to the field has somehow diminished the quality of stories being published. This, despite the fact that women have always been writing in science fiction from its inception. But whatever—all I have to say is I don’t know what SF they’re reading, because much of the best SF I have read in recent years has consistently come from women. This is particularly true of space opera, a subgenre I’d largely given up hope on, until I discovered established titans like Bujold and Moon and newcomers like Dunstall. Finder isn’t technically space opera, I don’t think, but it has many space operatic elements to it. Suzanne Palmer continues to prove that not only are women not diminishing this genre; they are actively bringing fresh stories that make it more of a pleasure to keep reading. So there!

The premise of Finder is incredibly simple, which is always a good sign: Fergus Ferguson (it’s a whole thing) is the eponymous finder. In this case, he has already found his object: a stolen spaceship. He’s going to have to steal it back on behalf of his clients, the rightful owners. But it’s in the hands of a particularly nasty piece of work, a warlord/gang leader who controls a part of a backwater solar system. Fergus inadvertently stumbles into the middle of cold war that he quickly ignites into a warm war—oops—and, oh, there are aliens involved too. Somehow.

The charm of Finder lies in how Palmer takes this simple premise and blows it up into a system-wide civil war without somehow losing the reader in all the chaos. Fergus is a likeable rogue type, and Palmer manages to balance perspicacity with errors in judgment. He comes up with a clever plan, executes the plan … and it goes horribly wrong, so he has to improvise, and come up with another clever plan. This formula repeats for about 300 pages, and it works quite well. We never spend too much time in one place or on one subplot before Palmer redirects us into another new adventure. I wouldn’t exactly call Finder “cinematic” in the sense we often mean when we use that word, but there are screenplay-like elements to this story that for some reason I find quite appealing here.

There’s also a good cast of minor characters who revolve around Fergus and offer alternatively comic relief, sidekick help, or sheer badassery. Fergus has a badass background, what with being a reluctant hero/rebel type on Mars, and a “particular set of skills,” but Palmer makes it clear he is more of a jack of all trades than a master of many. So he acquires various support characters throughout his quests, coalescing into a rag-tag crew for the final assault on the Big Bad.

This is where Finder kind of falls down for me. The Big Bad doesn’t seem all that imposing or, crucially, interesting. He’s an upstart warlord exiled from his home system for not being the right kind of religiously wacky. He’s supposedly this Xanatos gambit genius of a villain who is always one step ahead of all the other leaders, and indeed, he packs a serious punch throughout this book. Yet as a character he remains a frustrating, off-page cipher for almost the entire book. We only ever really hear about him through others. I’m not trying to say he’s misunderstood, just that as far as villains go, he’s boring. I want a villain who is convinced he’s not the bad guy and is doing this all for “good reasons,” or I want a villain who, while irredeemably cruel, nevertheless chews the scenery with the best of ’em. This guy … is neither of those things.

I’m also not on board with the alien subplot. It’s well-executed in terms of how Palmer integrates it with the rest of the story. It feels like a setup, though, for something that will run through the rest of the series. I guess I can see why that might be desirable, but as far as this one book goes, the reveal at the end regarding the aliens is frustratingly cryptic instead of charmingly cryptic. But that could just be me.

Overall, I’d say that I found Finder to be an entertaining, almost captivating work of science fiction. It kept me interested in reading from page 1 to the end, which is not something I can say for every book, and I really did enjoy both the characters and the situations in which they found themselves. None of the elements of the plot are, individually, all that novel or fascinating. Nevertheless, Palmer crafts them together into a coherent story that serves its purpose well. I would maybe read a sequel and would definitely check out other stories Palmer offers up in the future.

Creative Commons BY-NC License
Profile Image for Minxy Melissa.
1,740 reviews66 followers
December 12, 2020
Finder was one of those books that just grabbed my interest and fascinated me from the start. It was filled with action, intriguing alien races, and the main character, Fergus Ferguson, was a regular space MacGyver. Many times when he found himself in a tricky situation, and only had what was available around him, he had to come up an immediate solution to his problems. There were some pretty inventive and hilarious solutions that he constructed that were quite memorable and I loved seeing how the other characters in this story reacted to them as well.

Nothing seems to go Fergus’ way in this story, especially when shortly after arriving he finds himself embroiled in a turf war, encountering aliens that everyone fears, and gaining notoriety when all he wanted to do was stay anonymous. What Fergus thought was going to be a simple, and quick, job turns out to be the much harder and time consuming than he ever expected. Though, in the end, his time on Cernee would become a learning experience of a lifetime and would also be responsible for helping him start to let go of his past.

I had such a good time reading Finder, the pacing of this story was quite fast with everything that was taking place. One thing that I felt was a little off was that Fergus was such a steady character that I had a hard time feeling the tension or anxiety that was being created in the scenes, he just handled everything so well. I would have liked to “feel” more in this story but overall I was very satisfied with how entertained I was while reading Finder. I would definitely recommend this story and I look forward to more from this Author.

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
Profile Image for Lukasz.
1,228 reviews195 followers
April 2, 2019
I am Fergus Ferguson, and I find lost things. I’m going to bring Venetia’s Sword home because I said I would, and if I have to go through Gilger and the Asiigto do it, so be it.


While not exactly a law-abiding do-gooder, Fergus has enough charm to make readers like him. He specializes in chasing things, getting into trouble and running away. When he tries to recover a sentient spacecraft stolen from Shipmakers of Pluto by a ruthless crime boss Airun Gilger, someone makes an attempt at his life. He barely survives, and what was supposed to be a routine job devolves into a disaster. Fergus’ actions may start a civil war, and to make matters worse, dangerous aliens seem interested in him as well.  

The action-packed plot sucked me in fast and never let go. Ferguson escapes one dire situation just to find himself in even more trouble. When you start to think he can’t handle more, Palmer proves you wrong. Watching Ferguson getting out of a mess thanks to his quick wit and ingenuity entertained me, and his resourcefulness impressed me. We all recognize lasers and light-swords as standard tools used to fight in space, but how many of you thought about using vibrating alien sex toys as space weapons (of sorts)? Just a few, I guess. And Fergus is one of you. 

Luckily, quick thinking and insolence are just the outer layers of his nuanced and well-developed character. His many flaws and upbeat attitude coupled with intriguing backstory delivered through occasional flashbacks make him relatable. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about secondary characters who lack depth. They’re well rounded and fun, I’ll give it to Palmer, but they’re here mainly to make Ferguson shine. That said a good dialogue, evocative descriptions and interesting tech make up for this. And let’s not forget about aliens. They’re cool and they make Fergus’ life more interesting, heck, they make him more interesting :)

Breakneck-paced, action-packed, and character-driven, this story is powered by thrilling plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. Well worth a shot.
Profile Image for Tim Hicks.
1,457 reviews114 followers
November 26, 2020
I'm still steaming from one of the reviews here suggesting that because this book doesn't bridge the gap between SF and Fine Lit'rachuh, it wasn't worth reading and probably wasn't worth writing.

Feh. The author gets to choose what kind of book it is, and is under no obligation to any reader. Many authors can't even align themselves with what makes money, because their compulsion is to write the story they want to tell.

Can Palmer write stuff that readers like? Hugo award says yes. Now, her first novel, and it's fun, with a what's-going-to-happen-next plot, interesting worldbuilding, and a central character who's pretty much MacGyver in Space but has some people and self issues to work through. Competing-power-groups is a good base for a story, and Palmer interestingly spreads them along the good-bad spectrum.

Here in COVID time, it's exactly the kind of story I wanted. Come back next year if you demand a groundbreaking tour de force, informed by transcendent sensibilities and revealing a shattering understanding of the human condition, leaving the reader in tears at the realization that Shakespeare and Derrida and Borges were just scratching at the edges of the superb intellectual achievement that is finally realized here.

The Asiig? Somehow I knew halfway through that they were going to be greatly underexplained by the end. But Palmer did an OK job of at least showing one and hinting at their nature. As if she wants me to NEED to read book two ... well, I will.

Maybe we'll find out who the Shielders came to be, and get a story about how this Space Place came to be, and how the shields got built. Hmm, maybe they're made of scrith!

Profile Image for Peter.
673 reviews46 followers
March 19, 2022
Gave up after 50%. I just couldn't fathom wasting more time on this drivel. It's not only that it's boring, but it somehow managed to make me root against the protagonist. If there had been something to the world, I might have struggled on. If there was some mystery to figure out, I might have kept going. Hell, if this wasn't completely predictable in every aspect, I could probably have hung on for a bit longer.

This is the kind of sci-fi that gives sci-fi a bad name. It's filled with technology for the sake of making it feel futuristic. There's nothing creative or unique about any of it and it's used without a thought beyond its necessity for a scene. There's barely a story here. There's a cliched backstory for the protagonist and a throwaway reason for him existing, but beyond that, it's basically a series of unimaginative action scenes. There was absolutely no character development which meant that I didn't care what happened to anyone, especially not some vague secondary characters that the protagonist kept bringing up for some reason. There was nothing here worth caring about. NOTHING.

I'm sure there's an audience out there for this kind of book. Unfortunately, I value story and characters while I don't particularly care that much about action scenes. Do you see my problem? This is aimed at people who enjoy the Transformers movies. Not that there's anything wrong with enjoying mindless action, it's just that this kind of derivative nonsense has absolutely no appeal to me.
Profile Image for Jamie.
1,126 reviews94 followers
April 17, 2019
3.5 stars. Good story, generally well told, fun and engaging, though somewhat uninspired. The most interesting element is the setting - a deep space colony consisting of various sized asteroids, spinning wheel habitats, derelict ships and other structures, all surrounded by a sun shield and linked together by an extensive system of cables. The colony is loosely controlled by a centralized administration, as well as a set of rival, and sometimes enigmatic, factions. Palmer does an admirable job weaving together several distinct story elements, including a heist/repo job, space battles, some socio-political tension seemingly borrowed from Robert Heinlein's classic The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, as well as some very strange alien encounters.
Profile Image for Koeur.
1,049 reviews18 followers
November 16, 2021
Rating: 4.2/5

Review: Palmer’s writing is like sitting down in a comfy chair with a nice drink and a (insert your favorite past time here). Each scene eases you into the next even in the midst of a crisis. You would think that this breeds predictability in outcome but that just doesn’t happen. I looked forward to each reading session, knowing that I would be fully engaged and not the slightest on edge about the outcome, which is one of the problems I have with this novel.

So while being not too predictable, I was never in fear for the good guys which is something I always root for and rarely receive. There is some sustainable sense of the positive when all that you love about a novels characters are not supplanted with untimely deaths. There is also the idea that vanilla ice cream while palatable and often preferred over say mint chocolate chip, is fundamentally not as fun as cookie dough. This novel lacks some cookie dough in terms of grit in the edgy places. Fergus just does not wring any tension out of his persona. He is constantly even keeled, even when riled to anger. I mean nothing really sets this guy apart from other nice guys in the universe but we are supposed to accept that the aliens that messed with him, find him “Interesting” and everyone that knows him says he creates shjt out of a vacuum for no other reason than that the Universe finds him compelling.

Yeah I know I can’t have it both ways yet a little merging of Fergus’ character with some hard-boiled character development would not have been remiss. While this novel is light and whimsical in a lot of areas there is a fair amount of death and mayhem placed in it’s appropriate box so as not to intermingle too closely with our heroes. Receiving ends and all that.

Still a lot of fun.
Profile Image for Maryam.
638 reviews105 followers
June 4, 2020
It was a very fun read, reminded me of John Scalzi books or Murdorbot series. Still had its own vibe, its own character set which was very likable and fun to engage with.

If you enjoyed the books I mentioned, pick this one up too.
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