How’s it going, Jared?
I’m glad I could find this on Amazon Unlimited. He’s a fringe author with an impressive number of titles under his belt. I say “fringe” because he’s mostly indie published but with a few conventionally published too. Clearly he enjoys his work and wants it in the hands of readers, which is a plus in my book. Also it looks like most of his other books are on AU too so I’m looking forward to reading more of his work.
More importantly the sequel for this book, Call to Arms, is out today!
Title: Duel in the Dark
Series: Blood on the Stars; Book 1
Author: Jay Allan
Genre: Science Fiction, Military
ROTS Setting: CU, Distant Future, FTL Gates (Limited)
Synopsis: The Confederation has fought three wars against the forces of the totalitarian Union. Three generations of its warriors have gone off to war, held the line against the larger, more powerful enemy. Now the fourth conflict is imminent, and the Confederation’s navy is on alert, positioned behind the frontier, waiting for the attack it knows is coming. […]
Recommendation: Late Teen to Adult. This book is a riveting military sci-fi with with good characters and plot. Definitely recommended.
There was only one major flaw in the entire book. Repetitious explanations. Details, facts, and events were often repeated several times. Things explained 3 times in the first few chapters continued to be repeats a dozen more times even into the latter part of the book. At one point 2 whole paragraphs were repeated, word for word. This made reading a chore on occasions. There were other minor inconsistencies, or grammatical errors but these were easy to overlook.
A minor issue I had was with the number of POVs. There were probably 10 different perspectives and narrators. It would have been nice to have more time with a few of the important characters and then snippets from the others…..or just reducing the number of POVs. It felt kind of choppy and with everything being repeated by every POV, I was pretty worn down by the time I hit 30%.
As for the world, I desperately want to know more about the societies and how the operate in more detail, but the focus was on the two ships slugging it out. Everything outside of that really wasn’t important. There are three major interstellar powers. The Union, basically a totalitarian government with socialist flavors and European/Russian vibes. The Alliance, which pulls from ancient Rome but not too heavily to feel like a copy. Lastly the Confederation which is based on the United States. There have been three Union/Confederation wars with another expected to start any day, while the Alliance is an aggressive up-and-coming power that’s always looking to expand.
The characters felt real. Some may have been slightly cliche or idealized but even then they still had real strengths and weaknesses. Their experiences built well on their backstory and it all felt organic.
When it came to plot, it was really good. I can see a couple of places that could have been tweaked to help the flow or emphasize a couple of points but there was nothing to complain about. I felt fulfilled at the end and still want to find out what happens next. Honestly, you can’t ask for much more than that.