This week I decided to review Forever Hero: Dawn for a Distant Earth by L.E, Modesitt, Jr. The story is set in the distant future where humanity rules a vast interstellar Empire. However Earth lays in ruins, drained of resources by humanity and devastated by wars and pollution. While the Empire occasionally makes efforts to restore Earth’s environment, the state always loses interest long before the objective is achieved. During the early stages of one of these efforts a devil kid, the local name for an orphan who lives in the wastes outside the few villages left on Earth, is rescued by a small group of Imperial officers who decide to attempt to educate him. Having selected the name MacGregor Gerswin, from the first name of one of the officers who initially educated him, and a term used to describe him by another officer, he enters the Imperial education system, eventually joining the military. After some time, including participating in the blockade of a planet undergoing a civil war, MacGregor finds himself reassigned to the mission to restore Earth. After more adventures, including discovering an ancient but still functional base from before the Collapse which ruined the world, MacGregor is put in charge of the restoration efforts. However, as neglect from his superiors cripples his efforts, MacGregor launches a desperate and highly illegal operation to obtain necessary equipment. But even if MacGregor and his allies manage to escape prosecution for their actions, they may find themselves locked into a course from which they can never escape.
I give the book a 7.5 out of 10. There isn’t anything particularly bad about it, but to me it was rather bland and I couldn’t find anything in it that was particularly special or memorable for the most part. But the book does improve greatly towards the end when MacGregor begins crafting his master plan, and the execution was well written. However there is very little combat in the book outside of a couple of shorts scenes near the beginning, so those wanting lots of lasers blazing or missiles flying should stay away.