Book Reviews

Review: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

You know those books that have so much hype and love? That’s how I felt about The Salvagers series which begins with A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe. It was a recommendation from Delara (bookwnoname on Instagram) and so I wanted to adore the heck out of this. While I enjoyed the world building, I had a few questions still. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.


Racing ships, magic, and spaceships oh my! While I was not expecting the magic meets SF – and was initially so shocked – I quickly got into it. Why not just jump right in then? Even though I liked so many of these elements, like Nilah and the intriguing world, I still had so many questions by the end. Like I was still pretty confused about just what the intersection of magic and spaceships were. By the end I was getting more of a hang of it, but it just took a while. That just might be a me problem?

With multiple, or dual, POV stories it can always be tricky when a reader has a clear preference. And this was me. I enjoyed Nilah’s POV so much more than Boots. Boots has all these qualities that makes me want to like her, but I’m just missing this core connection. Part of it seems to be that Boots is still suffering from the trauma from the war, and so doesn’t delve as deeply into it. And so I could see all these hollow spots, but since Boots didn’t dwell on it, I was missing a) the details of what happened to piece together the world and b) her emotional introspection.


Whereas Nilah was largely new to this world of magic, danger, and spaceships. All Nilah wants to do is race. When she realizes she’s stumbled into something incredibly sinister and dangerous, we are as out of our depths as she is. Which is why I think it’s a lot easier to pick up on Nilah’s POV (even though she can be a bit privileged sometimes). Because of that, it just made me want to rush to Nilah’s chapters (not to mention I love shipping her and her LI). In general, I enjoyed meeting the crew, but didn’t really know enough about them to feel that ‘found family’ trope.


Don’t get me wrong! Even though I was pretty confused, especially on some of the broader world/plot levels, I enjoyed Nilah and, by the end, got a better handle on Boots. There are so many elements here I liked, but I think it just took me a while, longer than usual, to piece them together in my brain, and heart. I’m not sure if this is just a me-thing, but it was just my experience while reading.

Find A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite book that mixed genres?

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