Book Review – Dark Colony

 

 

Lisa liked a quiet, straightforward life in the space station at Terpsichore. Used to handling drunks and other minor skirmishes, she is not expecting any surprises. But when sent to investigate a free floating object in the hold, she finds herself drawn into solving a mystery and leading a team to a secret colony where women and children are kept as slaves. This is hard science fiction, set in the near future, where space travel is difficult and takes many months. Colonists invent and build their own equipment from local materials. While truly isolated, they are part of a movement aiming to create thousands of independent communities throughout the Belt. Fiction for people who believe we can get out there.

 

For those who enjoy probable scientific advancements in the near future, this book is likely something you will enjoy.  It has the flavor of E.E. Doc Smith’s realism and Heinlein’s forward thinking combined in a wonderful new way.  Even though this is the first in a series, the story is wonderfully self contained with just enough hints about possible other encounters that a follow on book is perfectly understandable.

The characters have a wonderful feel of depth to them, and while maybe not as complex as some, they are definitely multi-dimensional.  The setting in which they are placed not only feels real, but also has an element of realism I haven’t seen in a while.  This one is definitely one I could see happening in the next generation or so, which is one of the things Richard says he is striving for.

The tension is fully maintained throughout the narrative through the proper use of pacing, explanation and witty repartee in the dialogue, and enough factual information is provided to carry the story forward without dropping a lot of irrelevant detail on you.  Even the scenes that are transition have something going on, which makes this one a fun over all read.

For me, this definitely counts as a 5 out of 5 stars.  A very late well done!

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