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A Sword Into Darkness Paperback – August 16, 2013
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About the Author
Thomas A. Mays (Tom) is an 18-years-and-counting veteran of the US Navy, working as an officer in the surface fleet aboard destroyers and amphibious ships, as well as teaching and assisting with research into electromagnetic weapons and ballistic missile defense. He has two degrees in applied physics, but his passion is writing (he tries not to let what he actually knows get in the way of telling a good story). The author of several short stories in both print and online magazines, this is his first published novel. Tom usually lives wherever the Navy tells him to (currently North Carolina), making a home with his lovely wife, three beautiful kids, and an insane Hawaiian mutt. Tom's blog, The Improbable Author, can be found at: http://improbableauthor.com/
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Top customer reviews
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He builds a ship, he dies, ship gets stolen by the US government, nationalized, nsa gag order, w/e.. downhill from there.
Infinitely better off reading John Ringo's Live free or die and/or America One by T.I. Wade.
It has it's good parts but glosses over much of the ramifications of what would actually happen in the world if such things came to pass. Would marshall law need to be enforced? What about an emergency Manhattan Project type building effort with all worldwide resourses devoted to arming up to meet the invasion? How to deal with doubters and resistors? How to handle the collapse of the world economy and the massive panic once the public finds out?... if they find out? In less then ten years mankind goes from one first space warship to a fleet of much larger warships and tens of thousands of deployed supermines. How does this happen so fast? We never find out and it could just as well be magic.
I found the ending a bit rushed and simplified. I would have liked to read more of the "after action" happenings but I suspect the author is trying to keep suspense for future works. Would I buy a possible sequel... probably not at price point this one was set at. These read like $.99 cent first attempts. But... you never know. Ringo has made a good career out of the voluminous drivel he produces and books like this would please fans of those series.
PS... note to reviewers. New authors tend to really spam the refresh button waiting for new Amazon reviews so if you want to make suggestions to this author, he will probably read and tweet about it within hours. So... suggest away.
The book starts off with the Aerospace Tycoon mentioned in the blurb above trying to convince US government representatives that aliens are indeed on their way to Earth and to take appropriate measures. Of course they do not believe him so he takes matters in his own hands and together with a band of collaborators he sets of to build Earth’s first combat capable spaceship.
We get to follow the process of actually designing the ship, building it, dodging the a--holes from the US government and of course finally…first contact. I found the book very well written and very captivating. The characters are well done, the science well thought through and as believable as one can expect from a sci-fi novel. Once the action starts it is as nicely done as the rest of the book.
I was ready to give this book a full set of stars up until the aliens actually started to communicate and reveal why they were on course for Earth. Obviously I cannot give any details here since it would totally spoil the book but I was flabbergasted to say the least. It is quite possible that other people might like this more than me. Obviously the author thought it was a good idea but to me it was just dumb. Not dumb enough to really ruin the book for me but definitely enough to strip it from that last star.
Still, it is a great book. I would definitely recommend it despite my gripe above.
Set in the near future, one man recognizes a change in the color of the star Delta Pavonis for what it really is, the signature of an alien star drive heading for Earth. Unable to convince the government, he sets out to do what he can. The early parts of the novel deal with developing the technology that will enable the Earth to do something about it (being that there is a spaceship on the cover, I don't think I am giving away too much :)). From there things get interesting.
The space battles are tense, and to fans of pure military sci-fi, might go a bit quickly, but I don't believe the author ever intended them to be the center of the action. Rather they are necessary to moving the plot forward. Tension is built and sustained in other ways. All of this makes for an enjoyable novel. One of the better independent science fiction novels I have read in the last year or two. Definitely worth the relatively modest price. I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel and will probably re-read this in a year or two.