Sly Mongoose is Tobias Buckell's third novel, following in the series after Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin. Each novel works mostly as a stand alone novel, but they are related and chronological in nature.
Sly Mongoose was a very satisfying novel. While coming in at a little less than 320 pages, the story is strongly developed, and very nuanced. The characters are well developed, and the settings become characters themselves. Personally, I think that this novel would make a remarkable movie.
The story picks up some generations after the end of Ragamuffin. The story once again features a good mixture of politics, philosophy, and action. Pepper is once again one of the primary PoVs, and fans of the previous novels might know what to expect. Let's just say that Pepper kicks butt, takes names, and has to deal with the consequences. While on a mission for the Dread Council, Pepper gets caught up in a plot hatched by a competing human faction. He ends up stranded on a remote planet and faced with a Species Extinction threat. What happens next is a white-knuckled read through the night sort of story.
Besides zeppelin air battles, and floating cities, we also get scifi zombies. Yep, scifi zombies. If you're interested check out Larry's interview with Tobias Buckell. I would classify the novel as something of a scifi/steampunk/horror.
In my opinion, Sly Mongoose is Buckell's best novel to date. It is entertaining, well-crafted, and surprisingly deep. The story is definitely amongst a handful of others on my favorite novels of the year list. It would greatly benefit all readers to start with Crystal Rain and read from there. However, I think a person could pick up Sly Mongoose and enjoy it without knowing the back story.
Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell