Friday, September 26, 2014

The Dred Chronicles: Havoc Review

This week I decided to review the Dred Chronicles: Havoc by Ann Aguire. The story opens in a docking bay on the prison station Perdition with Dred Devos, the main protagonist of the story, and a few of her trusted allies under attack by mercenaries.  They had come to meet the regularly scheduled supply ship but the Conglomerate, which rules human space, has decided to repurpose the station, and has sent a mercenary force led by a man named Vost. Dred falls back to Queensland, the part of the station she leads and begins preparing to wage war against the mercenaries. But even as early battles begin to go Queensland’s way, Dred must deal with stresses within Queensland’s ranks caused by allying with the survivors of another band of prisoners who were once hostile, while fending off the mercenaries and the prisoner bands who see this as their chance to seize the station for their own, or who have gone utterly insane. But soon, deaths among Queensland’s brightest begin to hinder their fighting strength even as internal tensions run ever hotter. Meanwhile, Vost must deal with increasing resentment among his troops as a promised cakewalk becomes a deadly war, and he must decide just what depths he will sink to, and how far he will go to achieve his goals.
I give the book a 7 out of 10. It was mostly gripping and well written but there were a few sections where it seemed to divert from the main story just to increase the length of the book, and the whole concept of the Conglomerate wanting to refit an apparently incredibly old station and sending mercs to clean it out makes little sense to me. Between the time and money needed to pay the mercs and send them to wipe out the population, the resources and time needed to repair the station and the time and work needed to either install needed equipment for whatever Perdition’s new purpose is intended to be, or repair and upgrade the already installed equipment it seems almost impossible for it to be faster and cheaper to use Perdition rather than building a new station for the job. And while I appreciate the author giving Vost a motivation for what he's doing, sometimes he seems to take actions which have a good chance of backfiring just to see if the action will work when he could achieve his goal at the moment more easily without taking the action in question.

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