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“Dust & Iron”


4 Small Stars
Dust & Iron

When you write a series about someone or something, you’d think that thing or person would be a major part of the story. Not so here. This isn’t about the Starship Satori at all. Instead, it’s about Charline, the geeky, formerly scared as sh*t programmer. The only thing that was ever good about Charlene was that she could shoot! And that’s a good thing if she ever got the courage to do anything with it. Most of the time, Charlene was supposed to get the Satori human computer system to interface with the alien stuff. She did that pretty well, but I never figured her to have a book all her own, but here it is.

I think that author stretched Charlene’s character a little too much. Earth Command has decided that a human colony needs to be established someone out in the galaxy before the Naga obliterate everyone on Earth. That’s probably a good idea, but then they make two really bad ideas. The first was to direct that the human colony be established on Dust! Yeah, that’s the dead planet with nothing but Ratzards and man-eating centipedes! Not the wisest of choices.

Second, they pick Charlene to be the leader of the colony group. Now why would anyone select a geeky computer nerd for a major leadership role? To Charlene’s credit, she has the same thoughts, but doesn’t have the sense to refuse the job. And she’s supposed to take far less people than you would expect to establish a human colony on a very hostile planet.

Things don’t go right from the start. While the Starship Satori did attempt to deliver the colonist to Dust, they didn’t have time to off-load all the equipment and people. A hostile starship showed above Dust and the Satori had to go defend everyone. From that point on, the Starship Satori is out of the book. Now, it’s up to Charlene to take over and be the boss, which she is not even close to being suited.

Well, authors can write anything that want and this author certainly did. With the help of a familiar stowaway from the Satori, Charlene seems to transform overnight into a “take no prisoners, kill’em all” military genius. Her colony group didn’t have any where near enough people to establish a colony in the first place and they had even less security for the conditions of the planet. Their first great idea (NOT!) was to inhabit the caves where they were almost originally wiped-out by the killer centipedes! That didn’t work so well, but due to sheer pig-headedness and lack of preparation in the first place, that where they sat up.

Then they find out just how dangerous this planet can be. If it wasn’t for the fact that they had a heavy lifting armored suite as part of the gear that did make it onto the planet, they’d of been toast in the first five minutes of the book! Yet, with the fortunate situation of having a genius engineer and a print-anything 3D printer available, the manage to print and put together other armor units in a remarkably short time.

Meanwhile, Charlene has some how turned into a rough, tough take-charge Commander, not only commanding every battle with the aliens, but leading the charge! As a reader, I can see why the author had to do this, they would have all been dead five-minutes after landing, if someone didn’t step-up and assume the role. Still, to have Charlene do this really destroyed her previous character. Oh, and Andy, well, let’s just say he’s not around to do much but take orders! Strange!

I don’t see Charlene every returning to the Satori. I also don’t want to read any more stories about her since I think her character is all wrong. Still, there appears to be more stories in the Starship Satori series. I only hope they are about the Starship Satori and not some spin-off of something else. I mean, we’ve lost just about everyone from the original story that there’s not much left to write about.

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