FIRST IN A NEW MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”
He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.
Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.
Danker's debut tries to be hard SF, but is too shallow and thin to make much of an impression. A team of strangers wake from sleep storage to find their spaceship at a standstill and abandoned by the crew. The three newly graduated cadets and someone who may or may not be an admiral must put aside their suspicions of one another and work together to survive. Danker stocks his book with characters who never develop, places them in peril that never quite strikes, and lowers stakes even when he's trying to raise tension. The nameless protagonist is saddled with a mysterious past, a drug addiction that barely affects the story, and a series of crises that never reach a critical stage. The antagonists are intended to be terrifying, but are as undeveloped as the rest of the characters. The action proceeds at a fair pace and is easy to follow, but there are too many clich s and conveniences to create a solid arc. The lack of definition and narrow imagination leave the writing flat and unremarkable. For a first effort, the workmanlike quality shows skill, but there is little to differentiate it from other novels in the genre.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I go through phases with genres. I will get lost in one for quite a long time and then I either seek a change or I will read a books description from a different genre that peaks my interest. It has been a long time since I have read science fiction. The genre as a whole is not always appealing to me but when I find the right type of science fiction I love it. Admiral’s description caught my attention and it was exactly what I love about science fiction.
The mystery of the character of the admiral was intriguing all of the way through. As a general rule, I don’t peek at the ending of books but I sure was tempted with Admiral. I really wanted to know who he was and his identity it isn’t revealed until the very end. Part of his identity threw me a curve ball. I completely didn’t expect it. I love curve balls! I’m so glad that I didn’t peek. That mystery, the wondering, is a big part of what made the book fun.
Admiral is carried by four characters, all of which I found interesting. The varied backgrounds, social classes, specialties, etc. worked fantastically and provided interesting engagement, tension, drama, and an incredible incredible capacity for creativity giving them the ability to overcome huge obstacles thrown in their way. Not least of which was trusting one another. As in any great science fiction book or movie there is no way on earth, or throughout the galaxy, that anything this hodgepodge set of characters did would be remotely possible. Who cares. Who doesn’t love those big effects?!?! Admiral would make a fantastic special effects filled movie.
Admiral is about survival in a hostile environment. This creates the need for fighting scenes in the midst of intense danger. Buuuutttt… Sean Danker avoided adding in sex. Thank you Sean Danker! It is sex free. One kiss…that’s it. Absolutely nothing was missing without it! A nice change of pace.
I highly recommend Admiral for anyone who doesn’t mind some war scenes with extraterrestrials and that even remotely likes or has an interest in science fiction.
I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher.
For all of my reviews visit my blog at www (dot) blessedandbewildered (dot) com