The Application of Hope (2014) is another novella set in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s DIVING UNIVERSE series. You can read it at any point in the series, but it’d be best as a companion to City of Ruins because it takes place at the same time and gives a different perspective on the important and exciting events of that novel.
Here we meet Tory Sabin and Jonathon “Coop” Cooper, who are captains in the Fleet and occasional lovers. When Coop encounters a hostile race of people and activates his anacapa drive, his ship disappears into foldspace. That’s déjà vu for Captain Sabin, whose own father disappeared in the same manner when she was a child.
As Tory hunts for Coop’s lost ship, we learn her story in a series of flashbacks. We learn about her losses, her relationship with her parents, and her life at the Fleet academy. All of these experiences made her the successful captain she turned out to be, but they may not be enough to help her find her lost father or lover.
I enjoyed meeting Tory, but I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing her again in future DIVING stories (I’ve read some of them and she’s not there). But most importantly for fans of the series, in The Application of Hope we get some important backstory on the Fleet and on Coop, one of the main protagonists of the rest of the DIVING novels. We learn about the Fleet’s mission and, for the first time, find out that Coop has had some doubts about it all along.
The audiobook, which is 2.3 hours long, is nicely narrated by Flora Plumb.