Macumber delivers a light action novel with just enough character depth to keep us involved for the whole story. The setting and central conflict of the novel will be familiar to any fan of the sci-fi genre: mankind's technology for waging war has gone awry and now threatens his very existence. We've got habitats on Earth, in orbit, on the moon, Mars, in the asteroid belt and so on. Near space is settled. Tech is abundant and cheap. Pirates and colonial rebels provide a dash of pulp-action flavor. The coming threat is both catastrophic and imminent, but the authorities predictably do little to anticipate it. So much for the familiar.
The real meat of the story centers around the Titan Artemis and Shawn, the teenager abruptly forced to deal with a world of violence and hard choices for which he was never prepared. The plot smacks of pulp melodrama. The military scenes bear the indelible imprint of a civilian perspective. Every character and faction is not so subtly similar to the current socio-political environment in the US. But Macumber always brings us back to Shawn and Artemis, and we simply can't abandon them. He writes with attention to detail, an eye to the impact of technology, and a sense of pacing that drives us to fight the dawn in favor of reading one more chapter.
If you like Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Wing Commander, or superhero fiction then go Haywire. You'll love it. I did.