Ok, I’m going to get this right out front. Since I’m a male chauvinist, I’m not partial to female main characters. Sandrine Hollande is the main character in this book and she is definitely a female. Ok, with that out of the way, let me go on to say, it was a pretty good book even thought there was too much of a “love” story to it. That just seems to happen in every book I read where the main character is a woman! If you don’t like that statement, then you can stop reading my review, but that’s how I see things.
Sandrine or “Sandi” has just graduated from the Common Wealth Space Fleet Academy and is looking forward to her first new assignment. She is an Assault Shuttle pilot as is her classmate, Ashton (Ash) Carpenter, whom she has known throughout her Academy training. While initially these two were friends, they later become friends with benefits and I’ll let your figure out what that means. They book are assigned to the CSF Jutland right from the Academy, but first, Sandi has to report to Admiral Gannett on the CSF Yorktown. Sandi is dreading this meeting with the Admiral, who just happens to be her mother. As expected in stories where a parent is a high ranking member of the military, the offspring, for some unknown reason, usually resents that members position and is always afraid that they will get preferential treatment or appear to get some just because that parent is in the position they are in. Whew! What a sentence!
But, that’s the reality of this story. Sandi wants to make her own way and her mother attempted to help her do that early on when she gave Sandi her father’s last name while the Admiral kept her name, especially since the husband/father was no longer around. Of course Sandi blames her Mom and her military career for running her father off. She is also resentful of the time that military career has taken her mother from her. Even just recently, Sandi’s mother, the Admiral, wasn’t able to make it to her daughter’s Academy graduation! Sandi is just like a lot of young people in books like these. She’s got a chip on her shoulder against her parent(s) or someone for reasons that are pretty petty. But, this part of the story is pretty short. Still, everything seems to take off after the meeting with her mother.
While awaiting transportation to the CSF Jutland, Sandi and her friend Ash, decided to check out some of the drinking establishments on the moon Deimos and Deimos Station specifically. This is a Martian moon which considering everything should have been a pretty secure location. Not so! Here is also where she and Ash become more than friends after a long night of heavy drinking. Yet, they are suddenly awaken in the early morning with the General Quarters alarms blaring over the base speakers. Not really knowing what was going on, they both dressed and headed for the hangers on the station. As they soon found out, Mars and Deimos Station were under attack by the Tahni! No one expected them to be this deep in Common Wealth space, but here they were and they were destroying a lot of valuable military hardware.
Now, as unlikely as it sounds, both Ensigns found available Assault Shuttles armed and ready to go in the hanger and took them out to fight the bad guys. It’s hard to imagine someone as green as they having the intestinal fortitude to do this on their own. Yet, they do get into space and do figure out how to do a small part in defending Mars and Deimos Station. For their actions, they are both awarded a very high Common Wealth medal, but Sandi has now lost her mother. The CSF Midway with Admiral Gannett was destroyed in the attack!
Still, the war is just getting started and Sandi and Ash are going to be in the thick of it. They have been assigned to a new Attack Command. They were to be part of a new unit equipped with new fighter starships that had their own transition drives. No other Common Wealth ships as small as their new missile cutters had transition drives and this opened a whole new battle tactics concept which could either help win this war or get both of them seriously dead!
As it turns out, both Sandi and Ash have their brush with death! Whether both actually survive is something you’ll have to find out while reading the book. And that’s what the rest of the book is about. Sandi and Ash’s developing relationship is becoming complicated and it’s going to cause them a lot of problems in their near future. I liked the story for the most part and didn’t realize that this was the first book in the series that stretches to four books already published and available on Amazon. I think I’ll be reading “Prodigal: Acheron 2” in the near future.