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The Void War (Empire Rising Book 1)

af D. J. Holmes

Serier: Empire Rising (1)

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811,732,929 (3.67)Ingen
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Third time is a charm. This is the third book that I picked in my little drive to find something new to read. I have kind of felt stuck with a bunch of long running series from the same authors for a while and wanted something new. My two previous attempts, A.I. Destroyer and Supercarrier turned out to be a fairly big letdown. This one however turned out to be almost spot on for me.

The story itself is not bad at all. It is another take on the, perhaps not so new anymore, idea of monarchies in the future. In particular the book focuses on the British monarchy (the good guys) and the Chines who are still stuck in a communist dictatorship. Obviously the latter are the bad guys.

One thing that struck me from the start is that this book, unlike the two previously mentioned books, has a good and solid world building. The author starts off with the basics and gradually builds up an understanding of the world. He is being reasonably detailed without it becoming boring.

The science is quite okay. It is not hard core science and wormholes and stuff for faster than light travel is kind of just assumed to exist but at least it is coherent and not just thrown at the reader as it becomes necessary to fix the story. The military part of the science is quite good indeed and the strategy and tactics used are plausible.

I definitely liked the combat parts which was well done with a plausible combination of stealth in space, pre-battle tactics and, of course, the actual combat.

I also quite liked the main protagonist as well as most of his entourage. Something that is fairly important for me. There is actually only one person on the side of the good guys that I really did not like. Unfortunately this person is a rather important one.

The bulk of the book is about a (armed) conflict between the British monarchy and the Chinese communists. This, together with the initial world building, could of course have been enough material for an entire series but this book actually has a beginning, middle and an end with a conclusion. The book of course hints where the story will go from there and I am quite interested to see how the main story arc continues. The fact that this is the first book from this author and I really liked it fills me with hope.

So far so good. However there was one story element that I intensely disliked. Of course it is related to the previously mentioned unlikable person. Trying to avoid spoilers I will only say that it involved an arranged wedding. It was so very un-enjoyable to read and, for me, the entire concept was simply revolting. To me it dragged down the book a lot. Before this I was actually considering five stars but after having read that crap I was tempted to go for three stars instead.

In the end I settled for four out of five stars since I truly liked most of the book. ( )
  perjonsson | Jun 10, 2019 |
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