This is undoubtedly one of the worst books I have read in a long time! It is page after page of worthless BS that I can’t imagine anyone thinking this was good science fiction. It wasn’t even close. While this is the first book of a series, it’s the last book I’ll read probably by this author, ever! Don’t waste your time.
Having said that, I probably need to point out some of the more idiotic aspects of this stupid book. First and foremost, the author starts off by calling his astronauts, cosmonauts! Then he goes on with agonizing details about how Earth has seen a “revolution” in which the capitalistic owners of business were overthrown by the “workers”. Now Earth is some kind of worker paradise under one form of government called the Union of Workers’ Councils (UWC). This is a load of communist BS and it’s getting very deep in this book. I don’t mind having a foreign form of government on old Earth, but make it something acceptable, please! Even a new human Empire with an Emperor wouldn’t have been too bad. But, this is just wasted writing. There’s way too much political BS in this story.
Next with come to the main characters. There are what I would consider five of these. They are the crew of the UWC Hermes, a small scout ship sent to investigate the communications shutdown between Earth and a remote colony on the planet Hypatia. Tau City was specifically where they were going to find out why the city had seemingly shutdown all external communications. This city was the largest of all the settlements and it just happened to be where Commander Jonathan Blake’s wife and son resided. So, here we have a Captain of a star-faring capable ship going to his home planet. Once there, they scan the location of Tau City, but find nothing but a huge blackened crater with lots of residual radioactivity in the area. Obviously, someone or something has completely wiped out the city. So, Commander Blake shakily relays this information back to UWC HQ and is told in no uncertain terms to stay in orbit and not land on the planet. HQ says they will send reinforcements to his location reminds him and his crew to remain in orbit. The only problem with this is that it takes 43 days for a ship to travel from Earth to Hypatia!
Of course Commander Blake isn’t going to stay in orbit. He needs to find out what happened to his family. So with the vote by his crew, they descend down to the planet. Here they find nothing until a ship seems to appear out of no where and captures the Hermes and crew. They are taken by their captors to another solar system ruled by the Oceanians, an octopus-type highly intelligent species that has ideas of ruling the universe. Here’s where these humans will now figure out what kind of trouble they are in. It’s a wonder they all didn’t die on their first day in captivity.
Now back to this crew. The rank of Commander is a Naval rank, but the rank of Major is not. Yet, the pilot is a Major and his very belligerent towards the Commander most of the time especially when the Commander goes crazy thinking his wife and child have died when Tau City was destroyed. In fact, Commander Blake does go crazy wailing and crying about his lost family. He declares that he’s resigning his commission and doesn’t want to be in command any more. So, of course the Major steps in with the vote of the rest of the crew. Apparently, this military operates by voting their leaders into positions. Not sure they even consider qualifications. Now that they are captured, we find out that the crew of the Hermes isn’t much more than a group of individual puts together because they had to be there. The Major is very obstinate and won’t consider letting the Commander resume command once he composes himself. Of course sense the other crew members won’t vote for the former Commander to resume command, he doesn’t. That right there is so stupid I can hardly believe what I was reading.
Now we come to the other crew-members. Engineer Friedman has no first name. He’s also not much into the military thing having some advanced degrees in starship designs and propulsion. He knows the engineering capabilities of the Hermes, but certainly doesn’t want to protect it or his fellow crew-members unless almost forced to do so. Next, come Master Sergeant Li, the Marine. She’s just about the most foul-mouthed, disrespectful SNCO I’ve read about in a book. All she wants to do is kill things and take pot-shots at other crew-members shortcomings, which there a many! Lastly, we have Specialist Alejandra Valencia. She handles ships communications and is their quasi-medical specialist. She’s also opposed to everything! She doesn’t want to harm a flea and would let a crew-member be killed before she would help out. In summary, this crew is about as military as a collection of 13-year olds! A total waste of writing once again. I’ve never read about supposedly military people crying all the time, including the Commander!
If you want to wade through all the communist political garbage and can stomach these wimpy supposedly military people then you’ll just love the editing this book went through. I mean you’ll get to read Chapter 6 twice although it was renamed Chapter 22, it’s word for word copy! How can you miss that kind of editing?
Ok, I ranted long enough! This is a very bad book. I am supremely surprised I even finished it, but I did so only because I wanted to write a review about how bad it was so others might not make the same mistake I did. Don’t waste your time reading this book. Is that clear enough?