CREWKIN is a space opera novel by Rhobin L. Courtright. The heroine, Renna, is bred specifically to work on long-haul spaceships where the crews go months, even years, in space isolation. When her ship is destroyed, the surviving crewkin are encouraged to commit suicide rather than try to live as norms (normal people). Renna is the only one to refuse. And now she can never work as a crewkin again.
So she signs on with a short-haul spaceship and tries hard to fit in with the rag-tag norms who mistrust crewkin. But the cargo they're carrying is an engine more advanced than any other spaceship engine ever conceived. An engine capable of thrusting deeper into space in a fraction of the time regular engines need. An engine with its own intelligence.
And though they don't know it, this advanced engine they're transporting is the very same engine that destroyed Renna's old ship.
HAL in 2001 was scary, but this engine is something else! It can do everything including rebuilding the ship!
Pacing is good, characters maybe not quite developed enough, but overall, a really good book! Anybody who likes SF will like it.