Kerry Nietz's book Rhats! A Takamo Universe Novella is my first expedition into the Takamo Universe. For the uninitiated, Takamo Universe was a play-by-mail game that has now evolved into a web-based multi-player adventure game. I know nothing about such things. But I do know that a couple of my favorite sci-fi authors are now writing stories based in the Takamo Universe.
In Rhats!, Nietz follows the adventures of Frohic, young muto, or rhat, from a sentient species which, to another race that mutos call Uman, look much like rodents. Mutos are known for their scavenging skills; in fact, their entire economy is based on scavenging. Frohic ends up, rather against his will, on a scavenging ship run by Umans. His tale (no pun intended. . . mutos have tails of course) reminded me of some of Heinlein's young adult stories: the kid who goes into space for the first time, facing conflict, seeking out a mentor, coming of age and become a man (or a grown-up muto).
This is book 4 of the Takamo Universe. I will be interested to read some of the others to see how the mutos and their world fit in among other stories and worlds. Nietz is in his element, with the tech, the world-building, and even some hints of spiritual themes (that I hope he can expand upon in other stories). Rhats! is an enjoyable stand-alone story, but hints at many more stories to come.
Thanks to Takamo publishing for the complimentary electronic review copy!