Rob Bartlett’s The Wandering Tribes sees a bet between God and the Devil begin to escalate while Milo Sapphire, self-styled itinerant starship captain, champion of God, leader of the vampire families, and most dangerous individual in any room, enacts a plan to rehome a sizeable proportion of the vampire families and begin manipulating the huge Mercantile Empire through a convoluted plan. As the First of the vampire families, maintaining the peace and defending his position from challengers who would usurp him takes up much of Milo’s time, but with the assistance of a few carefully selected friends, Milo is able to pursue his personal goals.
The Wandering Tribes is the third instalment in Bartlett’s War Against infinity series, and it is a wild sci-fi tale which develops amidst one of the more creative settings readers will likely encounter. Featuring spacefaring vampires, philosophic velociraptors, graphic scenes of a violent and sexual nature and lots of discussions focused on the galactic economy all of which are seasoned with a liberal helping of humor and mix better than you might expect.
Milo’s frankness and his schemes make him a likeable character, and his chronic need to have most things explained to him in detail, or explain things to the reader in detail, make him the perfect narrator, as his conversational form ensures the reader is never completely lost in the world. Everything is well written and explained. It’s clear that a lot of thought and care has gone into building the universe in which The Wandering Tribes is set. Everything has a logical consistency which helps the plot flow and allows the reader to follow along with relative ease, even if they are starting with the third instalment in a series rather than at the beginning. Why would you do that? Book one is great, go read it.
The Wandering Tribes is an offbeat science fiction story that comes across as deceptively random. Rob Bartlett’s sharp writing and keen sense of humor comes together to create a relentlessly entertaining story with a fully fleshed out universe that is filled with wacky elements.
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