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Another awesome book from Stewart. Perhaps a little short compared to others of his that I have read; the ending was quite abrupt. Doesn't detract from the overall story all though, just makes me want the next book sooner!
While Glynn Stewart has a number of series in genres ranging from urban fantasy to military science fiction, his true skill as an author is best illustrated by his ability to write a number of very different series within the same genre. Raven's peace is a golden example of this ability. While basically a standard military science fiction, Raven's Peace details a unique situation and culture unlike any of his other works. In this situation, it took three attempts for me to stick around for the end of this story. In short, go into this expecting something very different from the magic in space of his Starship Mage series, the more traditional Castle Federation series, or even the alien heavy Duchy of Terra series.
An expansive war featuring a very large-scale revolt by a wide variety of slave and outsider races against a dominating and oppressive galactic overlord insectoid race has come to an end with an act of genocide which destroys their reproductive ability. The remaining members over the former overlords gather leaving vast stretches of the galaxy without any type of law and order beyond that which the strongest of the former allies might be able to impose through might or other means.
Henry Wong was commander of the ship that delivered the final blow and has paid a mental and social price for it. Brought back to command to act as a figurehead for the pending peace conference, he leads a ship into several battles which more than adequate demonstrate there will be very little peace any time soon. Having paid such a price to overthrown one set of tyrants he has no taste for the establishment of a whole new regional set. Hence the peacekeeper of the series and a role with he hopes will begin to redeem his soul.
Not a comfy cozy book, but a unique and ambitious tale of what happens with old friends of long duration part ways and fragment. Go in expecting a bit of a slow learning experience and you will not be disappointed.
A really new look at the aftermath of a big interstellar war and the recovery process. As usual for Kindle books, more typos than print books, but essentially none more than blips. Although Stewart's space yarns are much better crafted than all but a tiny fraction of authors in the field, still, he has some weaknesses. For example, he doesn't seem to know the difference between novae and supernovae (totally different phenomena). Although the jury is still out, large stars like Procyon and Zion likely do NOT have habitable planets. Procyon has a companion white dwarf, which likely wiped clean any living rocky worlds when it passed through its red giant phase. Procyon itself is an older F5 star with a total lifetime of perhaps 2+ Gyr. Zion, at only 9 ly from Earth, should be very bright in our night sky and have a proper name from antiquity. There are other such issues that are jarring, but not story breakers. One real issue: since so many Kenmiri warships were captured and available for reverse engineering, one would think the UPA warships would have the same inertial compensator technology as the other warring partners whose warcraft are based on Kenmiri designs, or ARE refurbished Kenmari craft. Yet the acceleration difference is a fairly crucial issue in a number of places in the story. Otherwise, a really absorbing yarn, very well crafted and and a delight, cover to cover. Highly recommended. The only reason I am not waiting with baited breath is his OTHER series awaiting their next story. I read almost everything this author writes and NO disappointments! He is absolutely among the top authors in SF writing today.
From the moment I saw this book up to a couple of hundred digital pages in I kept an open mind, but also wondered if a new universe is really necessary when so many of Stewart's existing ones are screaming for side stories. The simple answer is "yes, it is". Other than the premise of just finishing up a major war, there are aspects of this universe such as politics, economics, technology, racial diversity, and scale that are necessary to drive this particular plot. It's all too early to say where it's all going and whether it will be good in the long run, but it does feel new, and that's not a small accomplishment in this crowded genre.
Some of the details in the book also add to the feeling of being in a new universe. Where his other books (and those of other authors) generally average out the human experience into something that's mostly an average American, current political and ethnic diversity still lives on in this version of the future. Whether it's the Scandinavian Borghild Holst of LogDiv, the lingering effects of the war following UN's breakdown, or the need for a common tongue among the races of the Galaxy, this series is less eager to throw everything into a melting pot than many others.
As for the story, I cannot claim it doesn't have a predictable structure. It doesn't end with no shots fired or with the universe in perfect balance, to put it mildly. However it does do enough to keep you guessing, and you really cannot guess what the next book will look like until the last 10% or so of this one. That in itself is something, and something that Stewart himself hasn't always managed with his other series.
War has consumed the galaxy for almost two decades when a desperate gamble ends the conflict. The Kenmiri Empire seemed unstoppable, aiming to conquer and enslave all they came across until the unthinkable happened, ending the conflict. But what did the victory cost? And what is the path forward for the allied races who only shared a common enemy and know little about one another and even less about the other races’ plans and motivations?
Raven’s Peace is a new series from Glynn Stewart. It has engaging characters, space battles, political intrigue and a storyline with enough twists, turns and action to keep you turning pages way too late into the night.
Highly recommended read!
I was provided an ARC for my review. I enjoyed the story enough to buy my own copy. This will become another classic series by Stewart.
Stewart hits another series out of the park. I’m a huge fan and I was excited to see a new book from him. It does not disappoint. The characters are relatable. Included in the narrative is how soldiers have to cope after returning from the violence of a war, how they can process the damage they’ve seen or perpetuated. This is done within the scope of the characters in a non preachy way. There’s enough military action and sit on the end of your seat moments to satisfy any fan of military SF. Can’t wait for the next book!