Friday, January 22, 2016

James Review -- The Lightship Chronicles: Impulse

This week I decided to review The Lightship Chronicles: Impulse by Dave Bara.
The story starts with Peter Cochrane, the main protagonist, receiving news that the Impulse, one of very few Lightships in the Union of Known Worlds fleet, has been attacked with a hyperdemisional weapon while exploring the distant Levant system, leaving a number of the crew dead, including his ex-girlfriend, whom he had broken up with due to her posting on Impulse. Peter is promoted and transferred to the Impulse with orders to be prepared to act should the ship'scaptain allow his lust for revenge to overwhelm his judgment, but soon a second encounter with the weapon that damaged Impulse leaves Peter in command.
And while Peter is leading a mission to rescue a shuttle damaged in the second strike against Impulse, Tralfane, the ship’s Earth Historian in charge of keeping the knowledge about Lightships that Earth doesn’t want its allies to have secure, seizes control of the vessel. Only a timely rescue by Serosian, another historian and longtime mentor to Peter, saves both rescuers and those they have recovered. Serosian believes that Tralfane wishes to take the Impulse to the descendants of the Royalists of the First Empire, an empire defeated by the Union in a long ago civil war, and Peter must first ally with and defend the inhabitants of Levant who are imprisoned by the very weapons platform that attacked the Impulse, then lead a desperate mission deep into the heart of Imperial loyalist territory to assure that the Impulse does not remain in their hands and rescue any surviving crew members while contending with conflicting loyalties among his troops. But even if he manages to penetrate enemy space, a massive battleship and other horrifying surprises await him.
I give this book 7.5 out of 10. The overall story is interesting but there are a few too many clichés for my tastes, especially as it sets up the romance between Peter and Dobrina. Also, while the background is interesting, and leaves me hoping for a prequel story or series someday, there are some points which I think were vital to the current state of affairs that I feel should have been explained in more detail.

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