I’ve just finished reading my first sci-fi for ages. Here’s my considered review:
by Jasper T Scott
Dark space is a fair-to-middling space opera with a tried and tested plot that hardly breaks any new ground. The human race is defeated by alien invaders. A small band of survivors hide in an uncharted part of the galaxy (Dark Space) and try to rebuild their civilisation. Mr Scott ups the ante by introducing a plucky independent pilot, Ethan Ortane, who is forced by an unscrupulous villain to infiltrate the defence forces and destroy the only battle cruiser capable of defending Dark Space from the evil aliens.
Ethan wears an ingenious ‘holo-skin’ to enable him to board the battle cruiser and commit sabotage. But, in a hideous double-cross …
And that’s as far as I go. You know me, no spoilers in my reviews.
Overall, the writing is acceptable, but the author’s use of ‘filtering’ is unnecessary and annoying. Filtering is where the narrator tells us when a character hears a sound, or sees a sight. Here’s an example to illuminate my point:
“Ethan saw the spaceship bank to port.”
Here’s the same thing without the filtering:
“The spaceship banked to port.”
You’ll notice both sentences say the same thing, but without the filtering, the second one is more efficient and effective at keeping the reader ‘in the moment’. We ‘see’ the spaceship bank to port without having the character, Ethan, get between us and the action. Make sense?
Apart from that, Mr Scott handles the story well and the battle scenes are frenetic and exceptionally well realised.
Without dishing up any spoilers, there are a few pieces of unbelievable science (e.g. the holo-suits and the space gates) and some unacceptable coincidences (the family reunion), but as I said, overall, it’s a pretty good effort.
Dark Space is Book 1 in a six-book series. Will I read more from Mr Scott? Possibly.
Thoughts on the cover art: Excellent (if a little busy), but typical for this genre.
Dark Space by Jasper T Scott
Series: Dark Space Book 1
HUMANITY IS DEFEATED
Ten years ago the Sythians invaded the galaxy with one goal: to wipe out the human race.
THEY ARE HIDING
Now the survivors are hiding in the last human sector of the galaxy: Dark Space–once a place of exile for criminals, now the last refuge of mankind.
THEY ARE ISOLATED
The once galaxy-spanning Imperium of Star Systems is left guarding the gate which is the only way in or out of Dark Space–but not everyone is satisfied with their governance.
AND THEY ARE KILLING EACH OTHER
Freelancer and ex-convict Ethan Ortane is on the run. He owes crime lord Alec Brondi 10,000 sols, and his ship is badly damaged. When Brondi catches up with him, he makes an offer Ethan can’t refuse. Ethan must infiltrate and sabotage the Valiant, the Imperial Star Systems Fleet carrier which stands guarding the entrance of Dark Space, and then his debt will be cleared. While Ethan is still undecided about what he will do, he realizes that the Imperium has been lying and putting all of Dark Space at risk. Now Brondi’s plan is starting to look like a necessary evil, but before Ethan can act on it, he discovers that the real plan was much more sinister than what he was told, and he will be lucky to escape the Valiant alive. . .