Aurora: CV-01 (The Frontiers Saga #1) by Ryk Brown
Ryk Brown's debut novel in The Frontiers Saga shows tremendous promise and compelling, engaging story that will draw readers in.
The premise: On a future Earth recovering centuries after devastation, a Data Ark is uncovered which reaquaints those on Earth with the technology advances of the long-forgotten past, including the secrets to interstellar space travel. In that distant past, humans had traveled to, and populated, several remote planets.
Alas, a conglomeration known as the Jung Dynasty has become a militaristic force, devouring and conquering those remote planets. It won't be long until they set their sights on the remote planet of Earth. Senator Dayton Scott announces his candidacy for the presidency on a platform of non-confrontation, just as his son, Nathan, is accepted aboard an experimental spacecraft called the Aurora, a move at odds with his father's pacifist leanings.
The story quickly moves away from the potential family feud to focus on Nathan's efforts to make his own name aboard the Aurora, which is home to father-daughter team of experimental physicists using the ship as a testing ground. Their invention? Nothing less than a device that will provide Earth with its only chance for survival against the Jung, who have made it clear that they have no intention of allowing Earth to stand independent.
In the course of testing out the new device, tragedy strikes, and Nathan finds himself in an unexpected position of authority, in which his moves no longer determine who wins a training game, but who lives and dies. The growth and maturation of Nathan through the book are an enjoyable sequence to watch, as are his evolving relationships with those who started as friends and peers but who became the crew looking to him to make the decisions they'd need to survive, and to give Earth its best shot for survival as well.
I'd not rank Brown's prose as the most extraordinary out there, but he has an exceptional ability to tell a story. Once the action moved onto the ship and into battle sequences, I had a difficult time putting it down.
I'm looking forward to reading Episode 2 in the near future.
Rating: 4/5 stars