Wow! Happy Readers! Is this… is this an actual Review? Of a book!?
Holy Smokes, it’s almost like I stopped reading those this year.
This is only the 2nd Review of 2022. I had plans. Lots of plans. But life… so, I’m not ‘planning’ anything for now, just winging it. I hope there will be more reviews soon, but time will tell.
This time, I’m reviewing A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad Torgersen, which won the 2019 Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction Novel at the 33rd annual DragonCon. I’ve had it in queue for a bit, obviously. It was there with 100s of others, but this is the type of story line I gravitate toward (human space expansion/exploration with mysterious alien discoveries… plus exploding spaceships), so, with the award win, it sifted out of the pile on the top.
Now on to the book review!
Here’s the blurb & links to A Star-Wheeled Sky on Amazon.
THE WAYPOINT TO ULTIMATE POWER!
Over a millennium in the past, humans fleeing Earth in slower-than-light vessels discovered the Waywork, an abandoned alien superhighway system that allows instantaneous travel from star to star. The problem: there are a finite number of Waypoint nodes—and the burgeoning population of humans is hemmed in as a result. Furthermore, humanity is divided into contending Starstates. One of the strongest is based on an oligarchy of ruling families, but still mostly democratic. The other is a totalitarian nightmare. War seems inevitable.
Now a new Waypoint appears. Might it lead to the long-lost creators of the Waywork? If so, there may be knowledge and technology that will tip the balance in the coming war.
Three people race to make it to the new Waypoint—and beyond. These include Wyodreth Antagean, the reluctant son of an interstellar shipping magnate, Lady Garsina Oswight, the daring daughter of a royal family, and Zuri Mikton, a disgraced flag officer seeking redemption. They are facing an implacable foe in Golsubril Vex, a merciless, but highly effective, autocrat from the Waywork’s most brutal regime. Vex is determined to control the new Waypoint and whatever revelation or power lies on the other side.
Now humanity’s fate—to live in freedom or endless dictatorship—depends on just what that revelation might be. And who gets there first.
This one felt like a slow starter, but, thinking about it, that was needed to give you the universe that will leave you wanting more.
Characters that are well developed, a history of the universe to the depth of lore, space combat that makes sense, and aliens that are barely fathomable… all of this makes for a terrific read that demands a sequel.
Review contains spoilers from this point forward
Humans have been in the Waywork (a collection of habitable planetary systems that are linked by alien artifacts that allow travel between them) since they slow-rolled from a dying Earth millennia ago. They barely understand how the Keys (alien objects that power/operate the Waywork) do what they do, and the number of transition points and system is fixed. The major star-states are in constant competition for resources, with Startstate Nautilan being the primary aggressor and victor-apparent of the whole of human space.
Starstate Constellar, headed by an oligarchical group known as the First Families, is the closest system to a new Waywork node that suddenly appears. The race with Starstate Nautilan for it’s control is instantly on, with Constellar drafting civilian space cruise line ships into service to help their rush efforts.
What ensues is a study in space combat tactics, intrigue, and, of curse, aliens. I wont’ spoil any more details than that.
The primary characters are well developed, but there was a relationship that was hinted at that was never fully resolved. While the story does have a beginning, middle and an end, there are entirely too many threads left dangling to call the WHOLE story complete. A sequel is definitely required, and want to read it!
I can highly recommend this book and give it 4 Epic Stars! You should definitely check it out.
Again, sorry for the huge gap in reviews, Happy Readers.
Until next blog…
If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.
Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.
In this volume:
Quicksilver (short story)
The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.
Null Gravitas (short story)
New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.
Escaping Aurora (novella)
The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.
If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!
Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.
Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?
Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.
- Pirates & Parlays (Pirate Flash Fiction)
- Tales From The Street (Urban Fantasy Flash Fiction)
- Influx, Oh Flux (Invasion Flash Fiction)
- Gears & Gallantry (Steampunk Flash Fiction)
- Take Me To Your Reader (Alien First Contact Flash Fiction)
- Children of the Corner (Horror Short Stories)
- Dragons & Dribbles (Fantasy Flash Fiction)
- Bugged Out Babblings (Apocalyptic Flash Fiction)
- Napkin Notes (Short Stories That Spring from the Corner of a Napkin)
- Prose & Cons (Convention Flash Fiction Stories)
- Drunken Cranberries and Other Holiday Musings (Christmas Flash Fiction Stories)