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Sacred Planet: Book One of the Dominion Series Kindle Edition
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If you like smarter SF with heart, SACRED PLANET is going to keep you entertained from the opening chapter to the final sentence, and leave you hungry for more! I'm already looking forward to reading the next installment.
The author offered me a free review copy of SACRED PLANET but I purchased one myself as it looked like a good book. I'm glad I did--this one is a great read.
Fortunately, “Sacred Planet” doesn’t suffer from these qualities.
“Sacred Planet” is a space opera that has more parallels to Star Wars and its antecedents (the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials) and subsequent derivative works (“Firefly” and the like) than to GoT. But I think even that sells the book short on influences. I’ll try to explain.
The novel focuses on several characters, but the core characters are Davin (something of a scruffy nerf herder who captains over a quirky crew of roguish vagabonds), the Carinian “princess” Sierra (daughter of a hereditary prime minister), the egotistical and almost bumbling warrior noble Kastor and to a lesser extent his rival Guarin, and finally Morvan the Minister of Arms. Oh, and the various powers qualify as a character in my eyes. There are three “powers” at play: the anachronistic Sagittarians (dressed in advanced armor, wielding hyper-modernized melee weapons, zipping through space in huge ships, etc.); the religious lunatic Carinians; and the libertarian Orionites.
For me, the main characters boiled down to Davin (the narcissistic Orionite), Kastor (the bull in a china shop, blunt, and bloodthirsty noble Sagittarian), and to a lesser extent Sierra (the authentic, decent, and naïve Carinian). The story largely revolves around their actions and decisions, especially in Davin and Kastor’s cases. But we’re given a look at not just these characters but their families and cultures, and that’s where I think “Sacred Planet” shines. Not every Orionite is a greedy, self-absorbed jerk who thinks it’s every citizen for him or herself. In fact, we follow a specific subplot to show there’s a shred of civic decency and intelligence among the Orionites and that the decisions made by those characters will come at a heavy cost. With Kastor, we see the result of barbaric and brutal cultural rigidity and the price paid for the arrogance behind that structure. And with the Carinians, we see the dark plotting and scheming of the warlike leaders of a religious society. Each character has an arc that mirrors in some way the growth or collapse of their own culture.
This leads me to my earlier point about influences. Rogers pulls off some really clever narrative flourishes to make the setting come alive. When reading Davin’s story, it felt like I was reading a good Star Wars novel. When reading the Carinian pieces, there was a subtle shift between what I’ll call "standard science fiction" and more melodramatic fantasy works. And while reading the Sagittarian story, it felt like I was looking at updated versions of Moorcock’s Dorian Hawkmoon pulp fantasy/science fiction and E. R. Eddison’s “The Worm Ouroboros”, along with the previously mentioned pulp serial elements. It’s not that the writing style changes dramatically but that what’s going on does. This could be jarring for some readers, so it’s a brave approach, and I feel it’s nicely executed.
Holding all of this together are some evocative and energetic battle sequences and some great descriptions of the assorted worlds.
If you’re looking for rip-roaring action, intrigue, and adventure set in an engaging galaxy, give Austin Rogers's “Sacred Planet” a try. You won’t be sorry.
With an eye for detail, The author has created a compelling story of mankinds colonization of this part of the Milky Way and it's fracture into several different types of empires. The conflict between them is just starting to take place in book 1. We meet the key players in each empire, start to Appreciate the cultures which have evolved over time and see the catalyst that has been lit to start a war. Sit back and enjoy the story. I did!
Against these strengths are a tendency to use some cliches, and action that suffers from an impression of sameness and therefore feels a little 'flat', especially in the longer battle scenes. A few of the characters' choices and motivations seem a little questionable, but the majority are in line with their personalities and situations. I also noticed a few instances where I felt that the author might have made more effort to find alternative phrasing in order to avoid 20th or 21st century colloquialisms.
Once more on the positive side, the author has taken some trouble to insert many minor references to future technology, some of them quite original. The political structures of the various galactic factions are thoughtfully constructed and generally plausible, and the novel as a whole is fairly successful in offering an ambitious new SF creation to discover.
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the Ram," speaks to my overall interest in the series.Read more