The Bantam by R J Theodore
When one of Ehli’s bantam sisters turns up dead, she tries to figure out what happened before she’s blamed for the murder, and before the real killer strikes again.
Ehli is an Iscillian, designed in a lab to serve as a bantam, a ship custodian for a merchant crew. She imagines no future beyond the care of her starship and the quiet hours between ships spent painting in her quarters.
But when she discovers a vague clue that undermines the once clear purpose of her existence, the satisfaction she once found in her simple routine dissolves into an unsettling, deadly obsession to learn the truth.
Her job is to put the needs of her ship and its crew before her own, but every step she takes to investigate her origins—and that of all Iscillian bantams across the galaxy—takes her further from the life she knew and deeper into danger.
But Ehli can’t ignore what she’s learned. She must know what secrets have been kept from her, and she’s willing to risk everything to uncover them.
THE BANTAM transports you to a distant corner of space, introduces you to the most adorable invertebrate you’ve ever met, and sets up a mystery to propel Ehli forward into a new life of exploration and adventure.