Now that’s how you do it! I recently posted about a book that I’d read – Constitution – Book 1 of the Legacy Fleet by Nick Webb – and the story within was all about a broken down ship and its crew. I’d spoken about the fact that there wasn’t really anything new in this type of story but that wasn’t really the problem … the problem was the writing and characters themselves as they were nothing more than cardboard cutouts of some of the most common archetypes of SciFi and not only were they common – they were badly written and edited to boot!
Well Space Carrier Avalon is also about a legacy ship from a war fought decades previously but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. The Captain is absolutely not a broken down has-been, the engineer is not Scotty and the ships’ doctor is not Bones! This book is well written and is absolutely engaging almost from page 1.
While most books of this type take you into a battle for survival fairly quickly, the tension in Space Carrier Avalon actually builds up quite a bit slower. We’re introduced to black marketeers and rapists and the true enemy of the piece – the Terran Commonwealth. While the Terran’s do somewhat resemble the similarly named baddies from the latter Honor Harrington series of books we don’t have to wade through as many inconsequential battles before they rear their ugly heads here.
Now, most fans of the (military SciFi) genre might object to the more personal elements of the story but I actually really enjoyed them as it definitely served to humanize the characters and brought them into a much greater focus for me. While the heroes and villains are still definitely very black and white in terms of characterization, the supporting cast are a lot more diverse & fortunately we don’t have an annoying cat that is as smart as a human to deal with!
What I liked and didn’t like
The actual space sequences and battles themselves are very well written and you definitely feel a part of the action – the final sequence in fact was extremely good and had me flipping pages frantically to get to the conclusion as the one thing I learned in this book is that no one is safe! 🙂
Perhaps somewhat petty, but I have to be honest I really didn’t like the cover here as that almost didn’t make me get the book. I know that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover and I generally don’t, but in this case it really didn’t do the book justice.
Glynn Stewart is definitely an author that I will be following closely as if this is any sign of the work that he can produce I’m eagerly awaiting more and I really hope that this series continues onward.