Admiral Kurt Vickers is on fleet maneuvers in the Newton System when a heavily damaged Earth light cruiser appears. The captain tells a horrific story. Earth has been invaded, and the defensive fleets in orbit have been annihilated.
For decades, humans have been exploring farther and farther away from Earth and Newton searching for signs of intelligent life. Now that intelligent life has found them, it comes as an invader.
The enemy is ruthless, powerful, and has a disdain for human life. Admiral Vickers has his small fleet taskforce and is hopelessly outnumbered. However, even in darkness there is light, and Admiral Vickers will do whatever is necessary to free Earth from the invaders, even if he has to travel to the worst hellhole in the galaxy to do it.
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Repetitive dialogue and fixation on brothels.
This is the first book I've ever read by Raymond L. Well. The story had an interesting premise. Earth invaded by aliens and a small portion of Earth's fleet is stationed at its single interstellar colony. If I had to compare it to another book, it would probably be John Ringo's book "Live free or Die". I really enjoyed that book by John Ringo and was really expecting to like this book as well.
There are two things that really bothered me about this book. The first is that the invading aliens want to take humans and sell them into slavery in back in their worlds and specifically to sell women into sexual slavery. I know that generally an author mentions this type of stuff to show just how evil the aliens are but for 75% of the book, every conversation between aliens ends with them expounding on how they can't wait to either sell these human women to the brothels or to go to the brothels themselves to (well you get the idea). Even when our human main character returns to his family from visiting an alien planet, when they ask him about the wonders he saw there, the conversation devolves into him explaining the differences between brothels and pleasure houses that these human women would be sold too. By the time I reached the half way point, I had lost count of how many times this was brought up. There is really a strange fixation on sexual slavery in this book.
The second issue I had was repetitive dialogue. In one scene, the admiral is mentioning to the captain that the invading aliens cultural reminds him of the Pirates of the Barbary Coast on earth. In the next scene the admiral is speaking with the governor and again uses the Barbary Coast analogy. Then in the next chapter, the captain walks up to the admiral and ask him "Doesn't these aliens remind you of the Pirates of the Barbary Coast?", then going on to explain the history of those pirates. I don't know if you would consider this sloppy dialogue or if this is how you force feed an idea to the reader but I found it to be very annoying. This is just one example of repetitive dialogue and the story is filled with other instances of this occurring.
As for narration. I will say that I personally believe that Liam Owen is an acquired taste. Not that he is bad at all, just different. When I first heard a book by him, I didn't care for his narration but now that I have listened to at least 4 other books he has read, I like his narration. Also in previous Sci-fi books that Liam has narrated, they did this weird voice modulation whenever he narrated an alien. Thankfully in this book didn't do that I really got to hear the wide variety of voices he has in his repertoire. In fact I was surprised that he is able to even do passible accents in his narration.
So to sum it up, if they had removed the sexual slavery or even toned it down and fixed the dialogue, I would have really like this book. The story ends at a good point and there is definitely room for sequels. As to whether I will be reading any of those if they come out, probably not.
- william harney