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The Rush's Edge

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  62 reviews
With the help of his commanding officer, a genetically engineered ex-soldier fights back against the government that created him and others like him to be expendable slaves.

Halvor Cullen, a genetically-engineered and technology implanted ex-solider, doesn’t see himself as a hero. After getting out of the service, all he’s interested in is chasing the adrenaline rush that h
Kindle Edition
Published November 10th 2020 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Alexander Peterhans
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss
You don't need to constantly reinvent the wheel to tell a good story. When your worldbuilding isn't flowing over with original ideas, you can tell a great yarn with interesting characters, with vibrant dialogue, and perhaps a well paced plot.

I'm afraid to say this book fails on both fronts. Pretty much every world detail you come across you will have encountered in other sci-fi works, sometimes literally - think a mix of Star Wars, Star Trek, Space: Above and Beyond, Firefly and Mass Effect. The
Dan Hanks
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lucky enough to read this early and I loved it. Great sci-fi setting, shady military organisations, super soldiers, assassins, and one awesome ship. But the best part is the family of characters at its heart - all richly drawn and very easy to invest in from the start - which gave me big Firefly meets Mass Effect vibes. Hugely entertaining and thought provoking too. Highly recommend.
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Nov 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Heyy space opera fans, how’s it going?  Thank you so much to Angry Robot for the eARC of this fast-paced sci-fi / space adventure in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own!

There are a lot of things that I really liked about The Rush’s Edge, so let’s start there.  I love science fiction that touches on ethics related to robotics, genetics, and AI – I guess I can thank Mr Asimov for that one.   Hal is a Vanguard Assault Trooper, one of thousands genetically enhanced and modified to
Nov 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: I enjoyed the well thought out futuristic world and exciting action sequences, but overall the story suffered from a few rookie mistakes.

The Rush’s Edge is a fast-paced space opera debut that had plenty of thrilling moments and lots of action, and I enjoyed parts of it very much. However, I did have several issues with th
Cassidee Lanstra
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read The Rush’s Edge in two sittings yesterday. This beauty comes out tomorrow and it was easy reading. The story pulled me in right away and the action never stopped. The Rush’s Edge was a mix of Vat-raised soldiers, assassins, untrustworthy government and military and it has a little bit of a love story in there. I was super invested in Hal and Veev’s relationship, not gotta lie. I love a bit of LOVE in my books, SFF or otherwise. Don’t worry, it wasn’t heavy or smutty, for the romance shy. ...more
Laura (crofteereader)
I think this book suffers from not having a "goal" - there's no central driving force in the plot. Indeed, the plot itself is a series of loosely connected events that are all, essentially, self-contained, with problems solved within ~20 pages of their appearance. If we'd gone into this book going "this is the crew and they want to accomplish X but A, B, C, and D have gotten in their way" I would have been so down. Instead, A, B, C, and D happen and we just... Continue on and find an E, F, and G ...more
Reid Edwards
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ginger Smith's debut novel The Rush's Edge is a great first step into what looks to be a a fascinating universe. Her characters feel alive, motivated by internal decisions and show the consequences of their actions. So rarely do protagonists suffer from their choices, but Smith is willing to play out the scenario, rather than dropping deus ex machina throughout the story. The universe she's created just hints at the world and species beyond, which should allow for great stories and great SF. Smi ...more
Chris Panatier
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vat raised soldiers are pitted against both the AI species they were built to fight and the government that created them, in this character-driven space drama. If you are a fan of well-built sci-fi stories that actually flesh out the human relationships, then this book is for you. Very much for fans of The Expanse.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
This was not what I expected going in. When I read the synopsis, I expected an alien type tech going ‘I Robot’ on the poor inhabitants of the Loshad. What I read was much more in-depth and oddly heartwarming for a sci-fi opera read.

Ty, Hal and Beryl are the crew for the Loshad. The Loshad is a salvaging ship and the crew legally picks up scrap metal from past wars and wreckage. On other planets. Not so legally, they occasionally find ways to get intel on secret salvage spots and one such trip la
Dean Osborne
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
A heart stopping, edge of your seat exploration of the human psyche... IN SPACE!

Hot diggity dog that was a good journey and I’m gonna say I really, REALLY hope we get to see more of this universe and its inhabitants. I need to know more! Ginger, if you read this and Angry Robot doesn’t pull the trigger on a follow up be it a prequel, sequel or even a brief history then you need to call me and let me know more 😅

Okay so now I have that out of my system here we go...

We join the crew of the Loshad
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases
Review first published here: https://thecurioussffreader.wordpress...

Hal Cullen, a genetically engineered ex-soldier, is now working on a scavenging ship under the command of his best friend and former CO, Tyce. Hal wasn’t engineered to live long, just to kill efficiently.

Vivi, a hacker, is in need of a new beginning. She’s homeless after being dumped by her abusive ex-boyfriend after messing up one of his jobs. She is saved by Hal and Tyce when two guys try to kidnap her in a bar and she decide
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I typically read non fiction and biography as I feel that real life is so much stranger than fiction. That said however, I have read a good deal of science fiction and fantasy and do like a good old fashioned action-adventure story. I was offered an advanced reader copy of The Rush's Edge so I put down a book I was reading and decided to give it a go. Wow! I am sure glad that I did.

For an engaging space opera it checks all the boxes. Smith's world building is excellent and, like Star Wars and o
3.2 / 5 ✪


Halvor Cullen was not born but made—grown in a tank until the age of twelve, then trained to fight and kill and die for those that made him, the ACAS. After his seven years of mandatory military service, Hal washed out, as all VATs do. For there he was expected to continue fighting and kill up until he bit it, while trying to fill the void within, mostly with drugs. Instead Hal joined up with his old CO, taking off to salvage the edge of the galax
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I'm not too much of a sci-fi or space opera person, but I really enjoyed this book. The core characters and their relationships are compelling and complicated. I'm a sucker for found families and sure enough, this book sucked me in right away. Not to mention reawakening my teenaged shipper heart! Ha. I'd love to read a sequel and see more adventures from this lovable gang. ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

The beginning of this book as absolutely attention grabbing. I was easily able to become absorbed in the world as it was interesting and well fleshed out. There are nats (natural born humans) and vats (vat born/grown humans that have been augmented). Set in space, interesting characters, and a mystery? This book was right up my alley...until it wasn't.

It's not that I didn't like this book. I liked th
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A casual fun space adventure.
Mary Baltzell
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review and my honest review is this book is a great read! The main character Hal is a solider that is past his prime just trying live a normal life after the military but there's a catch he's a Vat. Vat's were created by the military to be super soldiers so living a normal life is almost impossible for Hal. The story starts out with a damsel in distress but don't worry she doesn't stay that way. Her new found friends help her grow to become so much mo ...more
Maxine Robinson
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Found family, adventures, battles, shitty governments, engineered soldiers, slow burn romance...
Fuck yes!!!!

Sci-fi full of adventure, found family and a nice little romance in the background. Hell yes. Can I just say LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and be done because otherwise my review will be flailing and fangirling over my most very favourite male friendship ever. I'm not sure if the author was aiming for a crying reader, but there were some pure, sweet, wonderful moments of friendship that brought me to
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"The Rush's Edge" feels like it's non-stop action, but what got me, really got me, was the human element in this story. It's deeply compelling, and very hard not to care about the characters. The story is intriguing, and I'm hoping there will be more to come. I can't fault the writing either, which is warm and easy to read.

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advance copy to review. This review is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
Amanda Bridgeman
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book. It’s an enjoyable sci-fi saga with equal doses of action, thrills and heart. Perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica, The Expanse and Firefly. 4.5 stars.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent scifi with a good premise and execution. The author has a good imagination and put it to good use here. This one made me think a little.

I really appreciate the ARC for review!!
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ACAS, the Armed Forced of the Coalition of Allied Systems, fill their ranks by growing their own soldiers in laboratories. Known as Vats, these lab-born men and women implanted with technology before they are ‘born’ and programmed for complete loyalty to ACAS, bravery and dedication to the cause. With heightened aggression, vat-soldiers are always spoiling for a fight and burn out before they reach forty.
Halvor Cullen is an ex-vat ACAS soldier explores the Edge with two other ex ACAS soldiers,
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Halvor Cullen (Hal) is a genetically engineered soldier, referred to as a “vat.” His former commanding officer, Tyce Bernon, is a “nat,” or natural born person. Ty is now Hal’s captain on the Loshad, and they make their living as salvagers. Hal isn’t one to back down from a fight, and the book opens with him jumping in to rescue a woman from a couple of guys who are up to no good. The woman, Vivi, is a tecker, and as their ship doesn’t currently have one, Ty offers her a job as part of his crew. ...more
Judith Trail
Aug 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a great summer read: a fast-paced space opera with sympathetic characters and conflict between an evil governmental authority and a growing band of rebels, as well as a thought-provoking look at how naturally born humans ("nats") treat and think about genetically enhanced, laboratory grown humans ("vats"), created to fight wars. One thing seems to be a constant: humans look for the things that make us "different" from others as opposed to looking for the similarities, and then use those ...more
Deborah Ross
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there such a thing as romantic military science fiction? If not, Ginger Smith is inventing the field. In this dystopic, far-flung star empire, human soldiers are too costly to waste in battle, so technologically enhanced vat-grown troops have become the era’s cannon fodder. With accelerated growth, limited life expectancy, and nearly unbreakable psychological conditioning, they’re considered expendable during their term of service and disposable afterward. One such retired vat soldier, Hal, h ...more
Jennifer Hill
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘The Rush’s Edge tells the story of Hal and his friends who are fighting for freedom against the ACAS who are now after them.

Hal is an ex-VAT and is looking for a place to belong, but all the VATs know is how to fight. Brought up to fight for the ACAS, he now has to fight against those trained him and will stop at nothing to stop them from getting their freedom.

‘The Rush’s Edge’ is full of complex characters with some great storylines, character development and plenty of sci-fi action and a litt
Angela Yearty
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book for readers of any genre. There is a great combination of sci-fi, action, and drama. The Rush's Edge has well developed characters. It shows how nats (human-born individuals) and vats (genetically-engineered soldiers) can become friends despite all odds. Ty and Hal have a very strong bond and sense of brotherhood that any soldier can respect. The relationship between Vivi and Hal grows over time. Trust is an important aspect of the relationships of all the crew members. ...more
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a fun read that was knocked out pretty quickly. The story never had any lulls or moments when I just felt like saying, "Get on with it already!" I liked the characters and enjoyed the "found family" elements. You hear about the bonds formed in hardship and the trauma of war and I feel like this honors that.

Overall the story left me wanting more and I hope we get to delve further into this universe and learn more about the many forces we are introduced to in this book. I really want to
Aug 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Space opera with a ragtag crew that feels like family, supersoldiers, nanites, sentient AI, evil government, and a beautiful love story. Experiences of retired vets and what rights a government has (or shouldn't have) over those who fight its wars are questions central to the main conflict. The writing is engaging and the story well paced, and there are some cool worldbuilding elements (vats vs nats, the titular rush, etc.). There is plenty of story left for serializa ...more
Sara Alhalwachi
Nov 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi
I was so excited to get this book and I completely forgot to do some inspectional reading before ordering it.

The story has a good premise but the narration style is dry and feels ham-fisted. I found the characters boring, which is a shame because there's so much potential in developing them throughout the story. We keep hearing the same thing over and over about Hal's fights and anger issues. His love for Vivi is kinda cheesy and too predictable. There's a lot of potential in developing Vivi's c
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Ginger Smith has worked as a record store employee, freelance writer, bookstore assistant manager and high school teacher of English. In the past, she has played in many tabletop RPG groups and even run several of her own. She collects vintage toys, sci-fi novels and comic books, as well as mid-century furniture. She currently lives in the southern USA with her husband and two cats, spending her f ...more

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