I have a particular fondness for space opera, especially where the authors put great care in creating a complex universe in a detailed and credible way. A book with interstellar travels, action, characters characterized by irony and courage has a good chance of be liked by me. And if the story is nice and is well written, then it conquers me.
This is the case of "Galaxy Blues" by Allen Steele, an old acquaintance of this sub-genre of science fiction. His literary output includes a good number of books placed in the same timeline, but independent of each other, so they can be read in any order, and once set in his universe, you move with ease focusing on the plot.
The story of "Galaxy Blues" is compelling because, as is the case of good books, you do not know what to expect from the next page and, therefore, continue to move forward. The protagonist is likeable, does not take himself too seriously, and more than once he makes you laugh while reading. The setting, while being outside of the reality we're used to, is understandable thanks to the author, who combines exceptional images with other much more common ones and in which you can identify. The pace is relentless and even the technology is very believable (within the suspension of disbelief).
In short, a good book.
Galaxy Blues on Amazon.com.