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.