I’ve had this book for a long time when compared to my other books I’ve bought. I don’t know why I never got around to reading it; well, that is until now. I’ve finished all three books in Volume 1 and will try to do a condensed review on each book. Speaking of each book, they are kind of short. I also don’t believe they are tied together or if they are, I couldn’t figure it out. Anyway, here’s my reviews.
I have no idea what this book had to do with the other two. Yes, we’re going to be aboard the Pioneer, USSC-37, but I don’t see how this story relates to the other two in anyway. Maybe it’s not supposed to.
Anyway, our main character is Declan Stringfellow. His current occupation is something like a modern day Robin Hood. He steals from the drug lords in order to extract revenge on them for causing the death of his three-old son. He’s built up quite a reputation as a people’s vigilante who is destroying a lot of drug actions in the city. His latest theft is with a couple of other guys while Declan is the get-away-driver. Only, this robber doesn’t go too well. He’s been chased by the authorities and takes a bullet that went clean through and he has a concussion. That puts him in the emergency room of a local hospital. Here his wound is tended to and he’s undergoing an MRI scan to check on the concussion.
Ok, now here’s the strange part. When Declan wakes up from the MRI, he’s lying on a bed in a strange room with someone yelling, “Everybody up!”. He doesn’t know where he is nor who the guy yelling is. He jumps from his bed and stands at the foot of it only to notice that there are a number of men and women in the compartment. All are superb physical specimens and all very good looking. He also notices that the men are all twins of each other and the women are also twins. Then he realizes that he’s no longer in his own body. He looks himself over and finally realizes, he’s one of the male twins! Now if that ain’t a strange beginning, I don’t know what is.
Well, come to find out, Declan has been “reborn” in the future. Science has made great strides so that they can raidly grow a baby outside the womb while implanting the brain pattern of an adult. That brain pattern came from the thousands of MRIs done back years ago. Now, when he military needs new bodies, they just grow them and then insert these brain scans. That’s what happened to Declan and all the other people with him. Yes, he does find out that he’s now on the USSC Pioneer headed for Hydrus, supposedly. The problem is, he’s and Indentured. That means for the next 20 years he does what he’s told. He is training to be the initial cadre of humans to land on Hydrus and to start the settlement process. Of course, Declan isn’t liking what’s been given to him. He wants to find out what is really going on. That’s the rest of the story.
This book starts out by writing about the USSC Pioneer. It’s the first interstellar starship Earth has ever built. On May 14, 2322, it fires up it’s new “Jump Drive” and heads towards a constellation called Hydrus. This trip covered the 24 light year period in the blink of an eye. The ship was a colony ship that was intended to establish an Earth colony on the planet Hydrus. It was never heard from again!
In 2352, thirty years after the USSC Pioneer, the United Scientist Space Command (USSC) launched another starship, the USSC Foothold to find out what happened to the USSC Pioneer. This ship was only going to travel at 95% light speed so it would take them 8 years to reach Hydrus. On Earth, 24 years would have passed during their journey. When the USS Foothold reached Hydrus, the sent down two shuttles; one to the continent of Blaze and one to the continent of Green. At Green, there was a young lady that had been very interested in astrology. She had a radio station setup that allowed her to send a message into space. It simply said, “Here we are — is anyone out there?”. The shuttle that landed on the Green continent zeroed on the message transmitter and found young Diana X (Diana Ten). They requested permission to land on her property which actually belonged to her mother, Diana IX, but were given permission anyway. The landing turned out to be very peaceful.
The landing on Blaze was anything but! The moment the shuttle’s Captain attempted to greet Braxton II, they were shot by The Guard, the militia for the continent. Through a very confusing and drastically dangerous situation, the entire shuttle and it’s crew were killed before they could even explain who they were. Braxton II, the metal worker who had sought to meet with these aliens, was shot. His son, Braxton III rushed to his side. While he was trying to get aid for his father, the Guard were still shooting at the shuttle causing the aliens to shoot back. Braxton II was an untrained Mystic who could stored vast amounts of electricity through his body. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control it very well. When he came under attack, he fought back by sending a lightening bolt into the Earth shuttle effectively destroying everything.
It is hoped that if the remaining crew of the USSC Foothold could establish a peaceful agreement with the people of Green, then they might be able to find out if these were the descendants of the original USSC Pioneer crew. This story is about how successful or unsuccessful they were.
Now we have the third book. We know that the descendants of the original USSC Pioneer did establish a colony on what they call as Legacy. But, they have mostly forgotten all about where they came from. This is several generations beyond the original crew. Some information has been passed down, but most is considered old legends or fables with no truth to them.
As for the USSC Foothold, the surviving crew are lead by one Chief Engineer, Shay. He’s manage to build a new “jump drive”, one that he knows won’t destroy itself after the first use. Since the Foothold has been orbiting Legacy, most of the crew has already established homes there. Everything was going well until the Australian Space Administration (ASA) starship showed up over Legacy. These guys turned out to be no more than pirates. They attacked settlements on Legacy with deadly force mostly killing the villagers and stealing everything in sight. Because most of the crew from the Foothold had disbursed to various places around Legacy, they couldn’t put forth a strong front against the ASA. The few who could were joined by other Legacy citizens and fought as well as they could.
Now that they are corned in the Ghost Mountains, Chief Shay wants to take his jump shuttle back to Earth. His mission there is to fix the current Legacy time-line by wiping out selected individuals. Because of the time dilation, jumping back to Earth will place them sometime just prior to the modern era. Once they do make the jump, they actually reach Earth during 1949. Each of the crew is assigned a specific target they must eliminate. Some of these are children, but they must not be allowed to live or all the troubles now experience on Legacy will remain. Not all their missions were successful.
Back on Legacy, there now seems to be an unknown civilization deep beneath the earth. I can’t seem to find what they were called so I’ll refer to them as the Underworlders. Anyway, these people have been living under the ground of Legacy for a long time. They have a purple glow about their bodies and eyes that can see in pitch dark. Their world consist of huge caverns connected by tunnels. They cannot go above ground while the sun is up because it burns their fair skin. The know that Uplanders do exist above ground and make every attempt to not interact with them.
Still, their history shows that the Uplanders did in fact find their homes once in the far distant past. While a group of Underworld women were above ground gathering nuts and other stuff, the were set upon by a gang of Uplander men. These women were viciously attacked to include being raped. These men also found the tunnel leading down to the Underworld homes and tore through them stealing everything and killing anyone insight. More women were attacked and raped. Later, many of these women would have babies from these attacks, but all the women would die during child birth. Since none of the other Underworlders wanted these babies, they were gather together and dropped off at a Uplander village during the night. These children were know as the Sons of Violation.
What all this has to do with the story, I don’t know. I did read that when Chief Engineer Shay’s men set about killing people on Earth, it did have an impact on Legacy. People experienced a sort of dejà vu, and even more serious, some people just ceased to exist. So, the crew of shuttle were altering history and the events on Legacy. I guess we’ll have to read more to find out just how much things were changed.
This was not exactly my kind of book. I read them, but all the while I was thinking that I would prefer to be reading something else. A lot of it didn’t make sense to me, but that just might have been me. I doubt that I will read any more in this series, but you never know.