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“Duel in the Dark”


5 Small Stars
Duel in the Dark

For some reason, I was reluctant to get started on this new series. Jay Allan is one of my most favorite authors and I have read and reviewed a ton of his books. The thing about his books is that he is so heavily involved in character building. He is also a master at creating space battle scenes. When you read one of his books, be prepared to be worn out after every battle. He almost always places you in the Captain’s Chair on the bridge of whatever starship he’s writing about and you had better be ready!

In this book, I wasn’t sure who the good guy or gal was going to be until it was almost over. As hard as it may seem, your immediate enemy is not much different than you in that your are both “following orders” and expected to complete your mission, sometimes at all cost. As a military person, that’s your job. You didn’t create the political environment which caused your side to go to war, but once war has started, it’s your job to see that it ends in victory. That same concept goes for you enemy.

Katrine Rigellus is a product of the Alliance civilization. She is the perfect product of an extremely militant society that only knows duty and country. Her and those like her in the Alliance are bred from an early age to comply with the strict discipline and military training throughout their lives. They are fierce warriors that consider victory the only outcome of any conflict. They will give everything they have to ensure their mission results in a victory or die trying. While the Alliance is fairly small in size, they have been very successful in defeating other non-aligned civilizations around their borders. They have yet to experience defeat! Commander-Princeps Katrine Rigellus has just won a major victory for her Alliance. She is a citizen Hero! Her victory is celebrated thought the realm. Then she gets her new assignment. Not quite what she expected.

Captain Tyler Barron is a relatively new starship commander. He and his crew have been patrolling the boarder between the Confederation and the Union for quite some time. It is feared that war could breakout between the two at any time. His crew, while untested, is ready. They are also getting quite stressed having been on this patrol for a considerable length of time. Captain Barron knows that it’s his duty to patrol the border, but he feels that his crew needs a respite of some kind. He finally gets new orders and heads his ship for a much needed re-outfit at a relatively small starbase deep inside Confederation territory. It’s so deep, that he and his ship will be closer to the Confederation other border which has nothing whatsoever threatening it.

The Confederation is an entirely different civilization than the Alliance or the Union. They are a republic where the military is just one of many career choices open to their citizens. Their way of life demands freedoms unknown to those of the Union or Alliance citizens. Yet, the Confederation military is just as dedicated to protecting those freedoms as is the Union or Alliance. Still, Captain Tyler Barron and his crew is untested in battle.

So, without explaining everything further, you now know that Captain Barron and Commander-Princeps Rigellus will meet some where to do battle. The why and how come is in the book. Just make sure you’re well rested when it comes time for battle. Jay Allan has a way of thrusting his readers into battle and making you not to want to stop reading his books. This one is the same. I read long into the night on the two nights I read it. I’m now thoroughly sold on another series that I can’t wait to continue reading. But, for now, I will rest. I know I’ll need such rest in the coming battles!

The second book is titled, “Call to Arms” and it’s already been bought.

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