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Independence (Two Democracies: Revolution Book 0) Kindle Edition
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While recovering from a devastating battle a Ship Commander is faced with difficult decisions about discovering valuable intelligence about their opponent and saving her own crew.
Simultaneously, their opponents pilot is trying to recover control of their ship - a devastatingly powerful unknown quantity.
The story alternates between the Commander's experiences and the pilots during the direct aftermath of the battle.
When does humankind step beyond the boundaries and create that which should not be?
I can see great potential for this series.
The two ships have all but destroyed each other, and the surviving crew struggle to make repairs and, even more, to make sense of the limited information their damaged ships allow them.
The fog of war (yes, even in space) slowly thins and the crews begin to orient themselves and to respond to new challenges.
This process is a very nice parallel with the reader's experience, as the situation becomes steadily clearer. Decision-making is critical, time is ticking, and the consequences are measured by body count.
What am I going to do?
I'm going to get more Alasdair Shaw and read, read, read!
The revelation at the end is a great twist but I think it would have been even more effective if the focus didn’t switch from one viewpoint to the other about two thirds through the story.
Independence works well as a prequel to the Two Democracies series, introducing the main character and providing a glimpse into the conflict between the Republic and the Congress.
There is a good deal of scientific speculation implicit in this story, deeper and more intelligent speculation than is common. But the allusions are so indirect that is only raises questions, it does not address them. I could imagine many different novels that could be inspired from this, but the author has not yet done the work to choose and write one. There may be some messages as well, about militarism, and death of consciousness mirroring its birth, and science versus survival, but if so they are buried deeply.
You won't waste your time reading this short book, and you will probably remember it longer than most polished works of science fiction. But it's not either entertainment or instruction, and it's not satisfying in any way. It's more interesting than it is good. Taken for what it's worth, I recommend it.
' He was the Indescribable Joy of Destruction. He was a Rampager class warship, the most manoeuverable and destructive vessel built by man.
Shaw, Alasdair. Independence (Two Democracies: Revolution Book 0) (Kindle Locations 431-433). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.
We know this is a game changer in war, and the opposing Captain came so close to glimpsing the secret. Now, how will Book 1 treat this weapon?
I give it 4 stars for writing, one for plot, imagery and pacing (too bad I cannot give more).
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