Friday, June 26, 2015

James Review -- Star Carrier: Deep Time

This week I decided to review Star Carrier: Deep Time by Ian Douglas. The story begins  with a mysterious, alien and hostile force appearing near an Earth Confederation base at Kapteyn’s Star. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the civil war between the Confederation and the United States of North America is rapidly drawing to a close and USNA marines are assaulting Verdun, the command center and fortress of the few remaining Confederation hardliners. During the battle, an alien ship flees from North India and a group of USNA fighter along with the Star Carrier America.  After an interception made more difficult by the grudge that Commander Terrance Dahlquist, the CO of a ship asked to aid in the intercept, holds against Admiral Gray due to jealousy over Gray's rise through the ranks and dilike of Gray's status as a Prim who grew up without access to--and without interest in--recieving much of the nanon technology that much of humanity takes for granted., the America group’s commander, and other problems caused by said commander ignoring orders against contact with a new species: the Glothr, who have some ability to manipulate time  The Glothr ask to be allowed to go home and a human fleet escorts the Glothr to a Tipler cylinder which they will use to return to their home time, with the fleet following to negotiate with their leaders. Meanwhile Commander Terrance Dahlquist, aided by his brother who is also part of the fleet, seeks to disgrace Admiral Gray. But after jumping through time the fleet finds itself ambushed and trying to fight their way home. And more is discovered about the true goals of the Sh’daar Collective, which humanity has been fighting for decades. The Sh’daar Collective stretches across time and space and they are trying to prevent a horrible future that they have seen, a future brought by an invasion from another universe, and a force vastly more powerful than either the Sh’daar or humanity. The restrictions the Sh’daar put on certain technologies are due to the belief that such technologies, developed far enough, will send signals attracting such powers, with the Glothr being native to a time when the galaxy has fallen and its survivors struggle to reach other galaxies or to prevent the disaster. But there are signs that the first wave of the force responsible for this nightmare has already arrived in the main time frame and there may be no stopping it…

I give this book an 8 out of 10. The idea of a society existing across multiple points in time is fascinating, as are the problems inherent in such a civilization. The battles are well written and the smaller conflicts among the characters are handled very well, showing that no matter how much our technology changes and enhances us, humans are still much the same today at their heart for better or worse. Also I find it interesting to see that what I, and probably most readers, thought was the prime motivation of the Sh’daar was only a small part of their reasoning. However it feels like the events of the previous book, other than those which took place on Earth, weren't given much attention until the end, and I wish we had learned more about the apparent new antagonists.

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