Author: H Paul Honsinger
Genre: Science Fiction/Space Military
Length: 454 Pages
Release: November 2012
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
While it took me quite a while to finish this novel it was by no means due to a lack of interest. I was hooked from the first page. The prologue was brilliant.
This novel is set in the year 2315 where Earth, along with its allies, is fighting a war against the Krag-an alien race set on the destruction of humankind. The main events of the story take place aboard the USS Cumberland, a destroyer in the Union Space Navy. The Cumberland is up against tough odds, particularly considering the majority of its crew has little battle experience and are used to abuse from the commanding officers.
One of the best things about this novel is the characters and the relationships that we see beginning to develop. Max, the young and impulsive captain, has a tormented past that leaves him haunted but he's very good at hiding his demons. Abrahim Sahin, the chief medical officer, is articulate, brilliant, clueless, and observant all in good measure. The combination is quite endearing. The friendship that begins to develop between these two characters was beautifully depicted and I hope that it continues to be explored and developed throughout the rest of the series.
Some of the other characters that I particularly enjoyed were Brown, the chief engineer, who was hilarious. I was always laughing during his portions of the novel. He always had something funny to say that lightened the novel perfectly. Garcia, Max's second in command, was also a favorite. There were others I really enjoyed. The entire crew of the Cumberland really made this novel for me, even those I didn't particularly enjoy.
The naval information was fascinating. At times there was too much information dumped on the reader that could have been more broken up and spread out, but it was all relevant and informative. Even when the explanations became lengthy it was still nice to have the information presented, rather than the author assuming that you understand all of the naval jargon and such. The glossary of terms at the end was also a nice addition. I used it to refresh myself on some of the terms and sayings. It was very informative.
The main downfall of this novel for me was the action scenes. These scenes could be cleaned up and polished a bit to improve the overall flow. At times it almost became too descriptive and was more telling rather than showing what was happening. This caused me to lose the story in the details a few times.
I'm really glad that I decided to read this novel. I've had little experience with science fiction in the past, but that I have read has impressed me and this novel will join that list. I am very excited to start the second installment and see where Max takes his crew next.