Starhawk by Jack McDevitt
Paperback – Ace – Oct 2014 – 389 pages
Priscilla “Hutch” Hutchins has finally completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for her pilot’s license. But faster-than-light travel is still a new reality, and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life-forms, outraging people on Earth.
With low demand for space pilots, Priscilla finds a job on the bridge of an interstellar ship, working for the corporation that is responsible for the terraforming. Her work conditions include bomb threats, sabotage, clashes with her employers—and a mission to a world, adrift between the stars, that harbors a life-form unlike anything humanity has ever seen…