Reviewed by Keith Jones
Nathan Lowell once again brings a colorful cast to life in Half Share, the second installment of his Trader’s Tales. In Half Share, Ishmael Wang is six months into his time on the Lois McKendrick. Ishmael has fallen into the routine as a mess mate and become fully integrated into the McKendrick. Now it is time for him to move up the ladder a step and become a half share member of the crew. Half Share is proof positive that it is not necessary for a book to be riddled with crashes, explosions, violence, graphic bloodshed or foul language. This book has little or none of this, but Lowell’s outstanding skill as a storyteller frames a tale that is thoroughly fascinating without these things.
Lowell’s writing skills are illustrated by many interesting scenes including what is perhaps the most unforgettable clothes shopping trip in the history of modern literature. The author’s love of literature and unique sense of humor is obvious in the first line of this book – “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” – just like in the opening of the first book, Quarter Share – “Call me Ishmael…”
Having listened to the podcast versions of this series before picking up the print versions, I know that as good as these first two books are, the rest of the series puts them to shame. I highly recommend Half Share if for no other reason to see a really great character mature and become comfortable in his own skin.