Life on a space station is a struggle for survival. The
Government is fighting the Families and somewhere in the
gutters run the discards, young thieves, starving and
stealing by light-cycle, hiding by dark-cycle. Rejected by
his street gang in HELL'S END, young Tuck makes for tenuous
safety in a war zone. Before long he's captured however,
and hauled off to the house of the l'Arisians.
Ivan, a government squad leader, is tasked with retrieving
Tuck. Why, he doesn't know. He leads the mission among
water purifiers and air recyclers, with bolt guns, sizzlers
and EMPs as his weapons. He manages to rescue Tuck, who's
been drugged with Rapture, and hauls him back to base. But
with the kid in detox, Ivan looks into computer records and
decides that the government has been turning kids into
spies to put down rebellion and he wants to get Tuck out
before worse harm befalls him. The attraction between the
two young men builds to a physical relationship and helps
them trust each other.
I don't know why a vast space habitat would be orbiting
Pluto, which seems a likely spot for collisions with Oort
cloud material, but by the time of this story the station
has been there so long that probably nobody knows the
reason. Ally Blue has created a consistent world where
robotic insects scavenge and people with artificial eyes
drink double espressos. I did find the ongoing underground
rebellion story a little claustrophobic, but there is
plenty of action, suspicion and well-drawn characters.
Ally Blue has written several other books including
paranormal mysteries, and HELL'S END will appeal to hard
SF fans, thriller readers and anyone who wants a grungy,
far-future romance that's out of the ordinary.
Tuckâ€™s a Gutter, one of a gang of violent orphans running
level thirty-six of Hellâ€™s End, the solar systemâ€™s outermost
space station. Thereâ€™s only one way out of this brotherhood
of bloodâ€”grow up and be killed and eaten by other Gutters.
Tuck barely escapes his death sentence, only to fall prey to
the powerful Lâ€™arisian family. Rescue from a Lâ€™arisian
whorehouse never happens, but rescued he is, and by Gov
soldiers no less. Alone among the enemy, Tuck trusts only
one personâ€”the man who risked everything to pluck him to