Cascade Failure: A Novel (Ambit's Run #1) (Paperback)

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Cascade Failure: A Novel (Ambit's Run #1) By L. M. Sagas Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Out in the depths of space, three groups hold all the power - and they're hiding something big. When the ragtag group aboard the Ambit respond to a distress call, they find a planet full of dead bodies, one grateful programmer, and a whole lot of trouble. Who knew trouble could be so fun and heartwarming? This crew is so charming and full of life that it's easy to forget that one of them is the AI that captains the ship. If you like your action and adventure with a side of creative nicknames, knitting, and pancakes (AKA if you're always chasing that Firefly feeling), this is the book for you. 

— Rachel Copeland

LM Sagas bursts out of the gate with her debut novel, Cascade Failure. This is a nonstop space western romp set in a galaxy where corporate powers clash relentlessly with both the workers who fuel development and the guild preventing everyone from tearing each other to shreds. In the wake of these forces, Sagas grounds us in the Ambit, a ship helmed by a curious AI who has collected a crew of human misfits. Sagas writes like a boxer, alternating punches of action-soaked adventure with genuinely heartfelt character scenes. Each character has motivations that propel them through the narrative and personalities that make them a joy to ride along with. Simply put, this is one hell of a crew fighting to make a difference in their largely hostile capitalist world, and it’s time for some thrillin’ heroics. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel as soon as possible! 

— Rachel Ross

Cascade Failure is a wild space adventure full of action, humor and lovable characters. If you miss Firefly, then this is the book for you!

— Jen Steele


L. M. Sagas's debut, Cascade Failure, is a high-octane, sci-fi adventure blending J. S. Dewes's Divide series with Firefly. It features a fierce, messy, chaotic space family, vibrant worlds, and an exploration of the many ways to be—and not to be—human.

Most Anticipated Books of 2024—Goodreads, Polygon, The Nerd Daily

There are only three real powers in the Spiral: the corporate power of the Trust versus the Union's labor's leverage. Between them the Guild tries to keep everyone's hands above the table. It ain't easy.

Branded a Guild deserter, Jal "accidentally" lands a ride on a Guild ship. Helmed by an AI, with a ship's engineer/medic who doesn't see much of a difference between the two jobs, and a "don't make me shoot you" XO, the Guild crew of the Ambit is a little . . . different.

They're also in over their heads. Responding to a distress call from an abandoned planet, they find a mass grave, and a live programmer who knows how it happened. The Trust has plans. This isn't the first dead planet, and it's not going to be the last.

Unless the crew of the Ambit can stop it.

Ambit's Run series
Cascade Failure

About the Author

L. M. SAGAS is an author of rowdy, adventurous science fiction and fantasy stories full of characters who live hard and fight harder. She writes to give folks a few good laughs, but has been known, on occasion, to tug a few heartstrings along the way. When she isn’t writing, L.M. daylights as an intellectual property attorney in Nashville and moonlights as a dirt-smudged gardener, breakfast food enthusiast, and professional pillow to the world’s snuggliest shelter pup. Cascade Failure is her debut novel.

Praise For…

Rapid-fire adventures spiked with army jargon and balanced with touching resolutions of personal conflicts keep the pages turning. Add in a charming found family—and even a space-faring cat—and this spirited space opera is a resounding success.”—Publishers Weekly

An epic quest . . .with sacrifice, revenge and the consequences thereof, what really constitutes ‘doing the right thing,’ and friendships forged, broken, and reforged—an entertaining beginning for a series.”—Booklist

Cascade Failure is an emotional and fun ride that you won't want to end. I loved this book!”—Mur Lafferty, author and Hugo Award-winning podcaster of Escape Pod

Cascade Failure is the first book in the hopefully long-running Ambit’s Run series. L.M. Sagas’ debut is an exciting and charming adventure perfect for fans of Becky Chambers or The Murderbot Diaries.”—Geek Girl Authority

“With Cascade Failure, L.M. Sagas brings to life a gritty, grippy, space adventure with the big time stakes of The Expanse, the engaging family dynamics of Becky Chambers, and the sweet, tangy snark of Murderbot.”—Chris Panatier, author of Stringers

Cascade Failure? More like Cascade EPIC WIN. Fast paced, heart-felt SF goodness. Sagas' debut will keep you grinning from first page to last!”—Jason M. Hough, New York Times bestselling author of Instinct

Fans of Firefly and Lois McMaster Bujold’s brilliant Vorkosigan series, Cascade Failure by L.M. Sagas has you covered. A ragtag crew full of grit, genius, and quirks with weary hearts of gold, finding the mission of their lives in a ship like no other. I loved everything about this book, including stunningly original world-building that ranks among the best I’ve ever read. Get this one. You’ll thank me.”—Julie E. Czerneda, award-winning author of To Each This World

“Gear up, strap in, and hold on. Fast, brash, and wickedly fun, Cascade Failure is 100-proof space juice injected straight into your veins.”—Dayton Ward, author of Star Trek: Coda

A total blast. Clever writing, high-stakes danger, cinematic action, and witty banter—this book has it all. You’ll be rooting for these messy, lovable disaster misfits from the very first pages. Cascade Failure has earned its place among my favorite found family tales, alongside Killjoys, Mass Effect, and Battlestar Galactica.”—J. S. Dewes, author of The Last Watch

"An unambiguous holler against taking the worst of our ways with us into the final frontier. An intriguing debut and a damn good adventure."—Zig Zag Claybourne, author of Afro Puffs Are the Antennae of the Universe

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250871251
ISBN-10: 1250871255
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: Ambit's Run