I spotted this one on my Kindle while looking for a good sci fi read and dived in. I’m so glad I did – and I’ll be linking it up with this month’s reading challenge – Sci Fi Month…
A century ago our star erupted, destroying Earth’s wormhole network and closing off trade with her colonized planets. After being out of contact with the younger worlds for so many years, Humanity is shocked when a huge ship appears at the edge of the Solar System. Our outdated navy investigates, both curious and fearful.
This is fun! William Sparhawk is an interesting protagonist. Rigid and an unbending follower of the rules, he isn’t your average swashbuckling rebel – or is he? When you put him into the context of a stagnating society with his father the head of one of the main political parties who are arguing hard to cut back on the Star Guard who patrol the solar system. William is expected to serve as his father’s intern, ready to position himself as his father’s successor – after all, he had been partly cloned from his father’s genes. Instead, he joins up the Guard, persisting in serving despite the obvious and continued hostility from his superior officers who are convinced he is spying on behalf of his famous father. However, he isn’t – he genuinely believes in the values and purpose of the Guard and the obstacles placed in his way only harden his resolve to continue serving.
And then a particular mission takes a left turn into the weird… Larson is an experienced, skilled writer and it shows. The pacing, character progression and blending of action and explanation of the world works really well. To be honest, for those who like their worldbuilding detailed, this one will feel a bit fractured as we only see it from William’s viewpoint. But I’m fine with that – this is, after all, a trilogy so there is clearly more to come.
The action sequences in space work really well and as the classic fight against all overwhelming odds kicks off, Larson makes it both believable and gripping. I was genuinely relieved when some of the supporting characters also made it through, as I have a hunch that Larson won’t mind too much if a couple of said characters don’t make it through. As for the romance – I wasn’t quite so invested in it as I didn’t particularly warm to the object of William’s affections. However, that may well be intentional. I’ll find out in the next book – because I’m definitely going to be tracking down the next book in this entertaining series.
I actually enjoy stories from one perspective where the worldbuilding isn’t fully explained. It feels more believable, if done right. This sounds like fun!
Oh, I’m LOVING this series – I’ve read a lot of space opera since I read and wrote this one at the beginning of the month and this one is uniquely memorable. I’ve also recently finished the second book and thoroughly enjoyed that one too.
I did feel I needed to mention the world-building – I’m like you, as it happens. But it tends to be the single most consistent criticism of my own books, given that I write from a single pov and can only present my world through that viewpoint – that the world doesn’t have the depth that it would if there were more viewpoints…
Sounds like a cracking read! This whole romance angle is becoming a bit of a lament with me. Oh I’m find with it in the Princeborn series, but must ALL YA have it? Must all second string characters get matched off? Can’t some characters just be single? (sorry, I’m getting cranky in this late hour…)
Actually, I’ve since read the second book – and there’s a solid reason WHY I didn’t like William’s lady love… This isn’t a romance – indeed, his adventures in that department is a cause of friction and humour…
Hmm…well now you’ve got me even more intrigued…
I did really enjoy this one…:)
Ah, why don’t I read more scifi? This sounds good. Thanks for sharing and in the comments about the second book. Anne – Books of My Heart
You’re very welcome:). This is great fun – I’m reading the third book in this series right now…
Oh, Sarah….I’m SO WAY behind on all of my replies and comments back….for several bloggers! I want to thank you for all the nice, and VERY SUPPORTIVE comments you’ve left on my blog!! You’re SO SWEET!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
The thing is, I've gotten VERY busy with schoolwork — making LOTS of copies for my ESOL students. (ESOL is an acronym used here in the States for "English for Speakers of Other Languages". I have an ESOL tutoring group, as well as a combined Level 5/6 ESOL class. This is a part-time night job, where I teach adults. But I've been making most of these copies at home…..)
On to your review! I always LOVE reading your reviews, as your enthusiasm for SF (and fantasy) shines clear through! You make me want to read NOTHING but SF!! 🙂 🙂
This plot sounds VERY exciting! I LOVE the whole angle of a clone going against his own father's wishes! It points to the continued importance of freedom in human societies. And the space action sounds TERRIFIC! Plus, although spaceships on SF covers are nothing new, I LOVE the sleek look of this one. I have a weakness for spaceships, I must confess….lol.
Thanks for another interesting review!! Adding this book to my Goodreads shelves!!
More comments on your posts are forthcoming!! HUGS!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh yes – I’m delighted you are so keen about this one, Maria:). I’ve loved this trilogy – it’s been one of my favourite reads of the month…
I had high hopes because of the setting, and then you mentioned fractured worldbuilding. Why, book, whyyyy? I mean, I want to know how we survived the star’s (Sun?) collapse, how it affected the life style and all that… Oh well. I guess a Melfka can’t have everything.
I’ve now read the whole trilogy and there’s a solid reason why the worldbuilding initially is a tad fractured – because there are layers within layers that William keeps stumbling across, until we get to the rather shocking truth at the end of the third book. I really loved this one – William’s flawed character, which is ever so slightly a parody of all those lantern-jawed heroes of yesteryear, just pings off the page and even though I finished it a while ago, I vividly recall the plot and the character with great affection.