Here’s the good news about Alex White’s A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy: You get to feel unbelievably cool reading it. This genre-mixing sequel to White’s A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe turns up the action and attitude to 10 and never lets up, making for one hell of a ride ... This is a well-developed world with layer upon layer of detail and nuance. Not only does White meticulously script small things like how the crew communicates in combat situations, but he’s also managed to build out large-scale geopolitical movements with similar ease ... It can sometimes be a bit daunting when details rush past in the heat of battle, but the payoff is a feeling of being plugged into the action. Some might say a magic system doesn’t belong in a space opera, but White makes it work ... at its core, it’s a story about a close-knit group of people, with both talents and scars, just trying to do the right thing. That’s what had me reading past my bedtime. It’s anything but a bad deal for the reader.
White combines elements of magic and traditional space opera to create an intricate world laced with fascinating characters, expansive spaceships, and compelling settings. While the narrative shines with witty banter and explosive battles, the effusive dialogue occasionally detracts from the formidable and exciting action. With elements of military science fiction, thievery, and political intrigue, this story will appeal to readers of James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series and fans of the popular television series, Firefly.