Empires rise and empires falls, but against this grand backdrop, “salvage is the only long-term game in the universe” (p. 114). Eli, Mati, and Kin are a team of salvagers who work in the Bari region of the universe — a place that few other salvagers go — harvesting whatever they can from the ghost ships that float through there. They’re well-trained, they’re well-informed, they are good at what they do. But no amount of knowledge or experience can prepare the crew for a ship so old it doesn’t turn up in any of the Oracle’s databases. Not only that — this ship isn’t dead.
The story ultimately circles back to where it starts: The rise and fall of empires, how empires can be remembered and memorialised. There is a sharp pathos to this story that nearly brought tears to my eyes.