Well, I’m a male chauvinist and I do not like female leading characters! There are very few stories written with female leads that I have ever bothered reading and if I did, it’s because they were very, very good books! This happens to be in the very, very good book category or I wouldn’t be writing about it.
What I found so likable about this book was the language and just the way the words flowed. I don’t know how to describe it, but when you start reading a new book and you are flying through the pages, then you should know that the writing is very similar to the way you naturally think. Or at least that’s my theory. I’ve never read a book by Andrew Beery so I wasn’t sure what to expect. He introduced his main character immediately in the book as Deborah Allen Riker. That first name clued me into the fact that this was going to be a female main character, I’m pretty sharp with things like that! Anyway, he didn’t dwell on the sex of Ms. Riker, but went on to explain here nickname of “Admiral Dare”. Now, that is what I consider a masculine name (yeah, I know there are female Admirals), but it is also military so that was a plus in my books. Anyway, Deborah doesn’t like that nickname and she some how manages to get people to just use her initials which are D.A.R. and pushes that to Dare because of her “propensity to take extreme risks”. So, “Admiral Dare” it is, but that sounds like some action hero type and that she is not.
What she actually is, is the Captain of the ISS Edmund Fitzgerald, a private survey ship and her normal occupation is that of archeologist. She’s also a Doctor of Xenoarchaelogy which meant she didn’t hang around Earth much at all. That was good because lately some of her more recent clients had her looking for ancient artifacts that were not supposed to be found. Most of those were from a very ancient and advanced civilization called the “Jabesh”. There were very few Jabesh artifacts available and those that were considered very extreme technology. It was also believed the Jabesh had some how managed to create very small power sources, so small that you could hold one in your hand and if you put twelve of these together, you’d have enough power for your entire civilization!
Word had gotten out that someone named Jack Carter, another archeologist, had found a large cache of Jabesh tech. Captain Riker was very interested in what was found as were a number of other people one of which was a very large corporation called Trans-Matshuta Industries. They wanted the artifacts for themselves and were determined to do whatever was necessary to find this cache. That began with finding Jack Carter. Except, Mr. Carter was aboard Survey One. This was a gigantic city ship that was sent out to seed the galaxy with Earth fauna and flora in hopes of finding a permanent home of the now displaced citizens of Earth. The Earth was going through a new ice age caused by some unexplained reason and was, for the most part, uninhabitable. Still this ship was one of several in a fleet of ships that had started out from Earth. There were two factions in this fleet, one that wanted to return to Earth and fix it, while the other wanted to find a new home. The later seemed to have one out, but all of these ships with their millions of inhabitants, had saboteurs from each others groups. These saboteurs caused all sorts of trouble and resulted in that most all of these survey ships were lost somewhere. It hoped that Captain Riker could perhaps find this Survey One ship and then talk with Jack Carter! Just a simple job, but she really had nothing to start with but she would be in competition with the Trans-Matshuta Industries Corporation and they don’t intend to play fair!
So, most of the story is about getting the Edmund Fitzgerald ready to go after Survey One. The Edmund Fitzgerald is also inhabited by an AI name “Fitz” which Captain Riker has come to think of as her daughter. Apparently artificial intelligence has become very, very advanced with the help of Jabesh technology as has human medical applications. They can even build androids that almost appear to be humans and you’ll meet one of those during the story. Still, I like the way the book was written very much. The story is from a first person prospective with that being from Captain Riker. She is very plain spoken and her observations are very clear to understand. The words in the book just seemed to flow for me and her gendered had nothing to do with anything!
In fact, I enjoyed this book so much that I’m going to get the second book, “Lost Ship”, on or about 17 August 2021 when it will be available on Amazon.