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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I do not normally choose Science Fiction novels, however, at the urging of a good friend I purchased this novel. As it turns out my good friend is also a genius when choosing outstanding novelists. Derrico paints a picture of an extraordinary future civilization that faces extinction with imagination and surprising humor. I enjoyed the depth of the characters, the colorful scene descriptions and the thought provoking questions evoked through the discovery of the plot. Do yourself a favor; buy this book and the sequel, Declination at the same time. You will not want to wait for the second book to be shipped to you once you realize that you can not put the first book down.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
Author David Derrico's debut novel, Right Ascension, packs more action and suspense than most Sci-fi novels twice its size. In only 216 pages, Derrico manages to tell a riveting story set in a vivid universe. If you're looking for a page-turner, this is the book for you.

The jaw dropping premise of the novel--humanity faces a grim, perhaps justified judgment from a superior alien race--implies a grand backstory that serves as the underlying mythology for Derrico's universe. Set over a thousand years in the future, Derrico's ensemble cast of characters will keep you deeply engaged as the cunning plot advances to a thrilling conclusion. Derrico's debut is a smashing success.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
An excellent first book. The prose is well written, and the plot is pretty interesting. My only major criticism is that the characters were a little two dimensional, and the book was just too short. Mr. Derrico tries to cover a little too much ground in only 216 pages. While most of my favorite SciFi authors are admittedly a little long winded, this story could have used an extra 100 pages of character/setting development. I'm about halfway through the second book now, and the same comments apply. For the 99 cent kindle edition I definitely got my money's worth, and i'll be sure to keep an eye open for his future books
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Ok, this book got good reviews here so I bought a Kindle copy. I read 26% into the book and then deleted it from my Kindle and came here to right a review to warn other people about this book. I really shouldn't be wasting my time reading poor SF. I've found that if it is bad 20-25% into the book that they never really get any better and that it is a waste of my time and effort to finish reading it hoping that it gets better. That's where deleting the story, and using the trash can for bad paperbacks, comes in.

I have fairly high standards for SF. Plot is very important. With the actions of the characters involved in that plot. The plot in this book is idiotic. A sneak attack. A ship destroyed. Another ship with an admiral in it is just sitting there cloaked watching it. In the busy space area around Earth? It waits 24 hours (why?) and then decides to follow the path of the attacking craft (finally!). But it was stealthed coming in and not detected so how is it going to leave a determinable path to track? And why would any aliens with any brains leave a path back to their home world or base so they could be followed unless it was a feint? So 24 hours later the admiral finally goes charging off (without letting anyone in Earth command structure know what he's doing...Why?...Where's the place for command structure in the book???) in spite of worries that the super aliens will come back and blow up Earth (which the ship the admiral is in being the ONLY ship that has a chance of defending Earth). Yes, this must be a good plan! A great plan! So let's stop by this not advanced star system that the track of the alien attacker went past and see if they know anything. After a nice state dinner and a good nights sleep (notice that they are in no hurry here!) an audience with the king (all non-advanced alien civilizations have kings, right?) they are informed that the civilization they are visiting used to be super advanced and was attacked by this mysterious alien ship in the past. And that Earth will be destroyed too. So, thanks Mr. alien king, we'll continue on our idiotic journey away from defenseless Earth and stop at a few more non-promising star systems looking for info on the nasty bad aliens while Earth lays defenseless behind us. If the aliens are as idiotic and lazy as we are they'll just ignore Earth while we have more state dinners and badly thought out childish "let's go at high speed through the asteroid field to lose the other aliens attacking us" escapades...

You should be able to see the ineptness and the idiocy of the plot. The writing is not bad at all. Character development is ok but not really in depth. The author writes fairly well and I believe him to have promise if/when he can attain a semi-realistic plot. Some (most) plots have holes but the hole here is the size of the Grand Canyon. Which destroys for me any chance of enjoying this book. Some people don't mind fairly well written stories with major plot holes but here I think it plot idiocy rather than just a couple of holes that can be enjoyably overlooked.

So if you have an aversion to bad plot you will want pass this one by. The author does show promise and talent, however, so it is possible (and I hope) for him to improve the plots in his future books.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Ok, so Derrico is giving this away... small blessings. You cant ever get back the time you spent reading it.

The plot line is fairly linear. Planet sized "Federation" type vessel- " The Indomitable" is destroyed by mysterious super-scientific aliens, hither-to unknown to the "Federation". The Admiral of another "Federation-type" vessel- " The Apocalypse" goes off in pursuit and to learn what they can of the mysterius alien vessel.The Admiral (Atgard) in particular wants retribution as his son had jsut been assigned to the The Indomitable, and is, of course, now dead. So they visit a planet where the locals have run into the mysterious aliens before, to their detriment, and fill-in Admiral Atgard on the hopelessness of rresistance. Yada, yada, yada.......

The problems with this book are so varied that I am going to pick a few and wrap this up.

First it is completely derivative from pop scifi movies and television of the past 40 years. The Indomitable certainly draws on Starwars Deathstar for its inspiration. The universe in which the story takes place is a carbon copy of Star Trek. (Good thing Gene Roddenberry has passed on and cant be exposed this to this plagiarism of his creativity)

Plagiarism is a strong word. Lets see if it fits.

First you have an "Enterprise-type" ship with a James T Kirk type Admiral (who gets busted to Captain and then repromoted to Admiral in the story- remind you of anything???) overseeing an Enterprise-type crew, including an Uhura-type communications officer- ( who incidentially, has a Jones for the Admiral but wont act on it as he is married), a Spock-type, emotionless science officer, a Scotty-type Cheif Engineer, etc, etc. The Admiral even, at several points asks (demands) "more power-speed" from the Cheif Engineer, who lamely replies that, " he's giving him all he's got", or words very close to that. Remind you of the constant exchanges between Kirk and Scotty?

There is the use of the word- "cloaking" to describe invisibility.

We a have a Klingon knock-off race who bedevils Admiral Atgard in his attempts to save the universe.

Somewhere in the text Derrico refers to a " Tiberius" . Give me a king sized break.

He also refers to "phasers" as the hand weapon of choice.

I give up. I have either made my point, or not. Its OK to draw on other published work for inspiration. We all do that. It is not ok to copy another works universe and concepts so closely. THis is plagiarism and I would suggest this book should be withdrawn from sale on that basis.

Derrico should be ashamed of trying to pass this off as his own work. It is completely Star Trek derivative and in my view crosses over the line of plagiarism.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I wavered between giving 1 or 2 stars. In the end I decided to be generous and go for two. I agree with many of the comments of those who did not care for the book. The plot needs work. The characters are flat. I started wondering a couple times if I had picked up a Star Trek book by mistake. I finished, but only because I had to stop myself from deleting it before the end. The silly verbal sparing between supposedly intelligent characters and third grade one-up-manship were hard to take. Cliches were peppered throughout the dialogue as if the author had a bet with his buddies about how many he could work into the book. My advice...move along, these aren't the droids you're looking for.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
At $0.00 it's still not worth the price. After painfully struggling through the first few dozen pages, I would have to be paid to finish it. Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers had better plots...and characters...and dialog...and science. And, as a veteran of 1950's scifi, I have to say this one isn't even comic book grade. But harsh words require substantiation so here goes...

I'll skip the juvenile plot, shallow characters, lame dialog, laughable philosophizing, insipid moralizing, and kindergarten fantasizing...the other 1 star reviews cover them sufficiently. Let's just look at how little our technology had evolved by 3040 (and this is in just the first dozen pages):
o The fighters have metal plating and exhausts, require pre-flights, and are piloted by humans...in cockpits...with control sticks.
o The flagship is also piloted with a control stick, has metal decks, exhausts and lasers, not to mention the Omega Cannon that takes out entire star systems but it can't be used surgically because it has no focus.
o The flagship's bridge is right out front and exposed (don't you think with all the sensor and virtual display capability by 3040, you would bury the bridge in the middle of the ship)
o The moon-sized dreadnaught globe also has an exterior bridge but it is in a protruding "nose" to make it even more exposed.
o The dreadnaught's atomic shell and shields and weapons make it "impervious", so why does it need escort fighters...piloted by humans...firing lasers...and launching missiles.

If that doesn't make you pass on this book, how about this...
o The hero Admiral has no fleet, captains his own flagship, and is the backup pilot.
o Fighter pilots are the ones sent on exploratory missions...and even espionage missions (wouldn't you send people trained for that...and in ships equipped for that?)
o The language translation problem during a first-contact gets solved by the most empathetic member of the crew sending the aliens her recipe for chicken soup (aside from the absurdity, wasn't it possible to start a war when the aliens were informed that we kill and eat non-humans?)
o Speaking of offending, one bit of dialog goes, "...we brought him in to the Navy from the Marines because his keen tactical mind was wasted as an infantryman". (Mr. Derrico better have his Omega Cannon with him when he runs into a Marine).

And what is it with scifi authors that assume the NAVY is the Space Force of the future? because Hollywood refers to space SHIPS and FLEETS? Is there any question outside of La La Land that the Air Force is best positioned, best equipped, and best trained, and best qualified to be the Space Force? (there ain't many Navy astronauts). An enlightened author would be referring to spaceCRAFT and SQUADRONS and WINGS...but I'm just a disgruntled Air Force vet.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
To say this book was a disappointment really doesn't cover it. I'm a little confused as to how I managed to finish it, except to say that perhaps it was akin to staring at a train wreck . . . The writing is, as pointed out by another reviewer, amateurish. I'd go a step further and call it cringe-worthy. Painful even. Adverbs and adjectives flying around like bats startled out of a cave. The characters were horribly derivative and clumsily drawn (good lord, did I fall prey to some linguistic virus too?) Might have been fun for the author to put a 'mix and match' game in Appendix A wherein you could draw lines connecting the characters in the book to your favorite Star Trek crew member. Nothing new, innovative, or even remotely thought provoking from an author who claims to wrestle mightily with deep philosophical conundrums. Not sure where all the positive reviews could be coming from, unless there's been some strange kindle-hiccup and all these folks read a different book than I did. Save your $.99 . . . Spend it on half of a coffee at some local ubiquitous java joint. I guarantee the experience will be infinitely more satisfying. And you'll respect yourself more for finishing it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Last night, I finished Right Ascension. The book is a space opera. It shows in the plot, characters and science of the book. I enjoyed it but I can understand why some reviewers said that it was a Star Trek ripoff. There are a lot of similarities but just as many differences. Sometimes, these similarities hurt the story.

The writing style is good but there are parts where the story bogs down. Most of these occur when the author does more telling than showing. I found myself skipping or glossing over some of these sections.

The characters, especially Admiral Daniel, are larger than life. For this kind of story, it works. I found myself wanting to know more about several crew members of the Apocalypse and the main antagonist. In some cases, I had to go back and read through a section I had skipped or skimmed over.

The plot, though multi-layered, is easy to follow. There is one anti-climatic moment involving the main antagonist that could have been handled better.

The minor problems I pointed out did not ruin my enjoyment of the book. I will probably pick up the next book in the series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an easy and fascinating read. Not only are the characters believable but so many of them are just good people with many admirable qualities. The book is thought provoking in that it makes us question our ethics and morals and our arrogance in thinking we have the right to kill indiscrimanantly if we percieve that other beings disagree with our philosophy of life.
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