Recently I met a new Science Fiction author: Diann T. Read. I'm so overjoyed when I find great new authors in this genre. I was especially glad to see that the woman can WRITE!
I got her Sergey Chronicles Omnibus (three books in one) and despite a trip out of state and the lure of a new baby, couldn't put it down. Every night I'd take up my guilty pleasure and read into the wee hours of the morning, only to be woken up at the crack of dawn by the kids.
The Sergey Chronicles ROCKED!
(Don't read the section in red if you don't want a few spoilers.)
The story is set in the future and spans several systems. Intrigue, plotting, galactic domination, and assassinations oh my! The Sergey family has been separated by kidnappers. Because of the kidnappers' inability to correctly navigate through a jump, they are thrust seven years into the future, ruining efforts Lujan Sergey for their apprehension. He spends the next fifteen years thinking that his family didn't survive.
Darcie Dartmouth and their son, Tristan, have escaped to Ganwold. There they settle with a primitive tribe until Darcie contacts a virulent and very deadly virus. Tristan must go against all his instincts, knowledge, and training to seek out his father on a distant planet.
On the planet Issel, Tristan encounters none other than his father's enemy and becomes embroiled in a plot to bring down Admiral Lujan, who is in charge of the galaxy's elite fighting force, plus several other key people, and eventually the United Worlds government.
Luckily Tristan is not the kind of boy who falls for just any old story. Despite his abuse at the hand of his captor, he manages to escape and alert his father.
Issel launches a war against the United Worlds. The shadowy puppetmasters behind the scenes have further designs. They work to thrust Issel back into the arms of the United Worlds.
However, there is someone still further back controlling the puppet-masters. Can Lujan rise above his wounds and limitations to discover what is going on before the shadowy figures wreak total havoc on the galaxy?
Diann puts the reader smack dab in the center of the action. We ache with Tristan as he tries to work out the problems he has between his upbringing and the confusing and dangerous life into which he stumbles. We wonder if he'll be able to save his mother's life. We wonder how Lujan can possibly survive against apparently insurmountable odds and then work to sever the arms of the octopus-like shadow master before they can destroy all he holds dear.
Everywhere Diann's military background is evident, giving spice and believability to her work. She doesn't just toss her characters out into the stars for some swashbuckling fun. She takes us through Tristan's training both in martial arts, and in pilot training; and Lujan's command and recovery. Things are difficult and messy and there are no easy fixes in these books.
If you're a Diann Read hero and you want to get from point A to point C you still have to trudge through point B while suffering excruciating pain and shooting your way through. And you won't feel fine about killing people to do it.
I would like to see Diann add another book. I'd like to see Tristan join his father's unit (the Spherzah), work through his problems, and go back to flying. Does he build something with Kersce?
I think Darcie Dartmouth should have her own book. She's such a great, strong woman. She raises her son in a primitive society while still assuring that he can still function somewhat in the outside world. She successfully helps to bring her husband back from the brink of death and functional life, all while still going to school to improve her medical credentials. We need a book from her perspective and celebrating her unique strengths and weaknesses.
I want to see Lujan rise again. Certainly there's more to do than just stop the assembly from voting one time. He's got work to do. He has to prove he can't be brought down by slimey bottom-dwellers.
Also there is a matter of remaining trash to haul out. Remarq is still out there working things from the wings. Somebody in the Sergey family needs to silence him forever. Will that happen?
All the speculation aside, I enjoyed the Sergey Chronicles to the hilt. They kept me engaged and entertained, and I fell in love with the believable, intelligently written, strong-but-not-impervious characters. I can't wait to read more.