Friday, June 28, 2013
Review::Day One (Sol War 1) by John Jay Forsberg
I'm giving this 5 stars because its played well even though there are some potential road bumps. And because I'm giving it 5 stars I'm going to be a bit brutal about those bumps.
First and foremost I loved this book and I loved it a lot more than I expected. I am a fan of many of the movies and shows that contain the War in Space themes but not so much the ones that are heavy on the battle engagements. My focus always falls on the characters and how they develop within the context of the story. Damn the torpedoes; I want to know about the people.
This book starts with Day One: H-HOUR and its a good lead in with some mystery and intrigue and the beginning of war. Only problem is of course that everyone dies. Well that usually isn't a game changer since there's the rest of the story.
The quibble I have with this book is it takes the next third of the book to get to the rest of the story and there are a lot of people who after reading a hundred pages or less are going to say 'what the heck.' Yell 'Abandon ship.' and throw another log on the fire.
I'm glad i resisted all those urges. And John redeems himself well enough to let that all pass. I just think that there's a whole bunch of people who will get a bit upset. Here's why. There's this whole bunch of Poli-Sci fiction going here that reads almost like a stale history analysis of what led up to this one moment we saw in passing from above(What I said up there.), all lumped together.
Really there are some things in that history that the reader needs to know and though I don't usually agree with the notion of skimming or scanning a fiction book I think it's appropriate here because the reader really needs to get past page 100 to get to the rest of the story or their missing a really well told well paced action packed thriller.(Don't really skim or you might miss something important.)
Honestly, John needs to make cliff notes for Part1 for the reader who wants to read the action and character development. (I'm sure somewhere along the line he thought that's what part 1 is but seriously.) I have to be careful here because in this instance the author knows where I work.
Honestly though, I couldn't put this down once things really started to happen. As history showed us the colonies in space have very good reasons to rebel and now they have the support of a former Admiral Dermot Coughlan. Dermot has many motivations for helping the colonists but his deepest I wasn't sure about. It could be the senseless death of his son but he also seems to have some vision of the value of the strength of the colonies and that's somewhere locked in that Poli-Sci section that needs this shown in the cliff notes.
Nolan Shaw, the charismatic leader of the rebels is a dangerous and possibly overreaching man who is clearly leading his people beyond his own abilities and that is going to have to play out in future stories. He's building some bad karma.
Navy Admiral of the Fleet, Terry Hutchins is an old friend of Dermot Coughlan and is the counter-point to him on the other side in this war. His daughter Rear Admiral Evelyn Hutchins is the one who will have to face off with Coughlan and I want to say I'm in love with this character. She does everything right within her abilities and sometimes beyond and she is unswerving in the face of death.
I've no idea how well Evelyn will come out of all of this but look out Honor Harrington you have staunch competition.
Paulo Mantega is the investigator tracing after the infamous Somachai and trying to prevent the catastrophe that will set things off. He has a lot of guilt and a self imposed mission.
John Hanson is living with the knowledge of what his brother Michael has done and knowing he had a part in it all.
I'm definitely looking for the next book in this series.
And when you get a chance John shoot me those cliff notes.