REVIEW by Jena: Salvage by Russell W. Libonati

For millennia man ruled the earth, but destiny eventually drove him to the stars. This created two factions; those that stayed and those that left. Between were the many ships and stations that supplied them both and acted as a lifeline. When Captain Metcalf received a distress call from one of those stations, he knew he could not ignore it. He charged to the farthest reaches of colonized space. But the station was not suffering from a malfunction, it was being attacked. If the attackers were still in the system, the decision to help could be a fatal one.

Salvage is the story of Captain Anthony Metcalf and his struggle with that fateful decision, as he battles his fears and an old enemy to keep his business afloat and his crew alive.


God, I dont even know where to begin.  I dont normally read much classic SciFi.  I love SciFi stories but I have found that I prefer those on screen.  I like the fantasy element to be built in but the magic formula to melding a story based in science with an element that is, well, not really seems to escape quite a few straight SciFi authors – all while labeling their work SciFi Fantasy.  So rather than read book after book by authors I really wasn’t into, I tend to lean more towards the fantasy side of the tracks. 

I received a review request for Salvage from the author and believe it or not, we really do read through the synopsis of each of the requests.  We get so many of them that it may take a while, but we eventually get there.  I read the synopsis for Salvage and immediately became interested.  I am a Star Wars nerd.  I am a Firefly FREAK.  Salvage……sounded awesome.

And it really, really was! 

The version I read was in PDF format and including the title page and copyright info, it clocks in at 232 pages long.  You would think that one would not be able to construct a good SciFi Fantasy novel in approx 230 pages but Mr. Libonati did a fantastic job at doing just that.

The story takes off right from page 1.  There is no real lag time at the beginning of the book where the author usually spends forever and a dog’s age setting the stage of the story, explaining who is who and what is what and yadda yadda yadda before we ever even see dialog.  Salvage introduces you to a handful of characters, starting with the very first page.  And best of all, we are a fly on the wall for a conversation between a newbie to the ship and a seasoned crew member.  So as the newbie is learning, so do we and rather than feeling like filler text that we must read in order to understand any of the dialog, it is smooth conversation and everything flows very naturally. 

The one thing that really stuck out to me about this book is the Firefly feel.  Don’t get me wrong, Salvage is not a Xerox of Firefly put to paper but it has that same feel to it.  If you liked Firefly, you’ll like this book.  I correlated the too so much so that when reading any parts involving the ship’s captain, Metcalf, I pictured Nathan Fillion all decked out in cowboy garb on the bridge of the Serenity.  I don’t feel that the likeness hindered the book though.  It just brought an element of familiarity in my mind right away.  I kind of enjoyed it.

Now, with all this talk of Firefly parallels, do not be mistaken.  Salvage is its own story and one well worth reading.  It’s incredibly fast-paced and a smooth, easy read.  The dialog is written well with a sizeable case of very distinct personalities.  I never once had to go back and reread anything out of confusion over who was talking or which character was which.  Again, a symptom I have found in a lot of straight SciFi books. 

Overall, I am going to give Salvage 4 stars.  This is a solid book with an entertaining story and a great cast.


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