Songs of Chaos by S.N. Lewitt
Dante is an outcast. He is not “normal” – genetically like everyone else in his country. He has asthma and has violent tendencies. He has run from his half way house and is staying with his brother. Yet he can not stay in hiding there much longer. A family member helps him escape to a Trader space ship.
When his transport explodes, he is instead picked up by the Malandro scavenger ship. He finds himself in an incomprehensible environment. The other people of his age assume he knows what they have known since they were babies. He does not understand how their gods can be A(rtificial) I(ntelligence) being. And the tropical birds are all over the ship. Are those birds really talking? Who is flying the ship while everyone is preparing for the great Party?
The back cover description caught my attention. The book was not all I hoped. It was fair enough. It just never quite tugged at my imagination. I like the premise with the gene control, the Trader ships, the Malandros, and Dante’s fragmented memories. They didn’t bloom into life.