As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Review: Poe’s Outlaws – Michelle Browne

Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Opera

Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

Leaving her abusive husband, Crystal finds herself desperately in need of a vacation. She heads off to Nirvana, a resort planet far from the Solar System. Craving company, she invites Sarah, her cousin Toby, and Sarah’s mentor Paulo to join her. Paulo calls on a former partner, but his arrival – and the job he offers – throw Crystal and Sarah’s new lives into chaos. Temptation and a stunning revelation bewilder Crystal. Meanwhile, Sarah decides on a risky rescue mission that puts her ideals to the test. It’s time to put up or shut up – because a revolutionary icon needs their help.

Fans of Becky Chambers’ Wayfarer series will love this emotional, descriptive adventure.

The Review

“We all dream of flight, even those who cannot fly—but none should be chained to the ground.”

I have really enjoyed Michelle Browne’s galactic space opera, The Meaning Wars, even though I’ve only read installments 3 and 4. I read the last, Poe’s Outlaws, because I enjoyed the previous one so much.

What we have, in a fairly distant future, is a galactic civilization made up of many species of sentient beings – including humans, who are still based in what is called the Sol System, which now includes its various colonies on places like the Moon, Venus, Mars, ‘and Pluto.

And, once more (always?) the humans are a problem. The humans persist in controlling, stratifying, exploiting, and oppressing those in their species who do not “measure up” to artificial standards of moral conformity and behavior. Every other species in the galaxy shakes their head at this human failing, which has now – through religio-political manipulation and restriction of voting rights in the colonies – grown to the level of endangering intra-galactic trade and prosperity.

This is where our heroes come in: Sarah and Crystal, longtime friends; Toby, Sarah’s cousin; and Paulo, a sometime bartender and erstwhile renegade smuggler. They are all on the run, in one way or another, and they meet up at a resort called Nirvana, owned and run by a powerful family of Yterans – an ancient bird-like species with a complex, harmonious civilization.

The world building is great fun, mixing the familiar with the uncanny, the idea of exotic alien worlds as alluring as Paradise, and wretched human colonies that represent its physical and political opposite.

Browne’s characters are nuanced and intelligent, complicated people (even the non-human ones) wanting nothing more than their fair share of happiness. Sarah and Crystal and Toby and Paulo have a long journey to undertake, both as humans, and as players in this galactic drama the outcome of which remains uncertain.

It’s compelling story-telling at its best, with a strong moral undertone that links it to our own world in a very unsettling way.

4 Stars.

The Reviewer

Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City. 

The Paranormal Romance Guild was established in 2009 by 8 Indie Authors and one Reviewer to be a constant help for authors. You can be a free author member, submitting your work for review OR become a Premium Author Member for a small yearly fee and enjoy many extra services including Free Beta Reads, Author Giveaways and many others. Your reviews are posted on our 3 FB Sites, Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram. WE REVIEW ALL GENRES LGBTQ+ welcome.

Check out our website: