A new author I haven’t read before. He obviously must be from the United Kingdom which is very much evident in his book, “The Void War”. I know Britain once had a magnificent sailing Navy and a lot of this story comes from that past. Only this time, the ships are starships and they plow through space. And, the space they do fly through has to devoid of dark matter and any other large gravimetric objects, such as stars, planets, moons or even asteroids. By use of the shift drive, starships could go many times the speed of light and therefore cross vast distances of space. Yet, most of that vast space was comprised of dark matter. In order to safely use the shift drives, someone had to survey the areas of dark matter that would cause havoc with starship attempting to use their shift drive.
So, our initial leading character, Commander James Somerville, Captain of the HMS Drake, finds himself doing the boring job of surveying nebulas of dark matter in a tiny British Royal Space Navy ship. His and his ships current assignment was as far as possible away from Earth. Commander Somerville is also British royalty. He is the Duke of Beaufort, but that title wasn’t worth much right now. You see, he was very definitely on the King’s bad list and had been banished from Earth in order to keep him away from the King’s daughter, Princess Christine. So that’s the love story plot.
Yet, the real story involves the discovery of a large “void” in space where there exists several galactic systems with habitat planets that is devoid of dark matter. This has never happened before. His ship, the HMS Drake, just happened to have stumbled on he greatest discovery since mankind started traveling the stars. This void, would create a vast amount of wealth for the nation or nations that controlled it. And so far as Commander Somerville knew, the British had discovered it first. Unfortunately, he later finds out that the Chinese have actually been in another part of the void, but they have not announced their discovery to the Interplanetary Council which they were required to do. Failing to do so negates their claim and they stand to lose a lot of wealthy space. So why had they not announced their discovery. What would they do if they found James’ ship wondering around in the void?
As you read the book, you find that China and Britain are not going to peacefully settle their differences on their claims for the void. War breaks out and Commander Somerville is caught right in the middle. As luck would have it, our leading character is actually a pretty good commanding officer. Although he is royalty, he wants to “earn a living” and has chosen to be in the RSN. He must try and do his duty while keeping the King off his back. Not an easy task.
I found this book an easy read with a lot of action. The characters are pretty well developed and the story-line seems well thought out except I’m not so sure Britain could actually go toe to toe with China. I think China would have way too many starships for Britain to handle. Also, the method to attain peace involving Princess Christine and a Chines Politician seems real ludicrous. I look forward to more stories if this develops into a series.