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“Dark and Stars”


5 Small Stars
Dark and Stars

Hopefully, you’ll read this review before you read this book. There’s nothing wrong with the book and you’ll probably enjoy it as much as I did, but, it’s definitely not like the first book. This is a military science fiction book. The first one, “Serengeti”, was kind of a touchy-feely book where we got to know the ship Serengeti very well. It was about her isolation and the wonders of one, two, and then three TSGs that were her only companions through what turned out to be fifty-three years drifting through deep space. It was kind of calm and serene.

Not this book. This book is about awaking, fighting back, learning about Serengeti’s Captain, about Lieutenant Finley, and about war. It is pretty brutal in language; there’s more cussing in this book than on a U. S. Navy ship, so if you get offended easily with foul language, better be prepared. The story feels good to get Serengeti back to where she belongs. After drifting through space for those fifty-three years, she finds out that things have changed pretty dramatically. Even she has a new, improved body, but not in the way you think. And then there’s her crew. Surprisingly, the Cryo Chamber she had stuffed her remaining crew in, including Captain Henricksen, survived and was rescued. Although the expected life support cycle for a Cryo Chamber was only 30 years, it had some how maintained the small crew in frozen stasis for fifty some years.

So, what does a ship and crew that have been out of service for fifty-three years do? Well, they try and put things back the way they were. It’s a long hard job because the Meridian Alliance fleet practically feel apart after Serengeti’s last battle, the one they lost. Brutus is in charge and that’s a big, big problem. He might just be crazy! This is certainly going to be interesting.

If you remember, the fleet is comprised of several type of starships all of which, have an on-board artificial intelligence (AI) that controls everything the ship does. They do have Captains and other crew members who man various stations aboard the ship especially on the command bridge, but it’s not like the crew really controls anything. The ships AI monitors everything all the time and if a crewman is having trouble, the ship can step in and do whatever needs done. I think the crew, for the most part is redundant and the book supports this by strangely never mentioning any crew members other than those very few on the command bridge. I’m not even sure of the size of Serengeti’s crew. Something like thirty were revived, but they had to add more crew from Serengeti’s sister ships to give her a skeleton crew. I’m also really leery about how these ships act. They certainly seem sentient so why have a crew at all? And where are the Androids? It seems that the ships AI can move to and occupy a maintenance robot so it can leave the ship and converse with humans when it wants. So why not have an Android body as a host when the ship wants to be mobile but in a human-like manner. This happens several times in the story, but Serengeti has to borrow a maintenance robot to become mobile.

Ok, so as I said, this book is a good military science fiction story, much different than the first book. We do get to meet and read a lot about Captain Henricksen, and Lieutenant Finely and a few more crew persons, but they are kind of immaterial to the story. The character development is good although there are not really many human characters in the story, but the author made almost all of the starships seem like humans. They even cuss like humans.

I don’t know if there will be any more stories with Serengeti. This one was pretty complete. I would probably read more, but I would like to see more human involvement. These ships just seem way to human to ever be real.

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