April 15th, 2014

Desperation By Alexander Dundass

A month or so ago a loyal reader sent me a copy of Desperation by Alexander Dundass. due to my dad being here and other shit I didn't get around to reading it until last week. Because books are always welcome and appreciated I figured I'd spend a little time talking about it.

The  novel is the first book in the "Triumvirate Chronicles" and does a great job of world building. Unlike many sci fi and fantasy writers (I'm looking at you GRRM) he does a great job of showing instead of telling. The vision we get of this universe is through the actions of the characters not through endless descriptions. This keeps the plot moving at a fast rate and created a great page turner.

This volume mostly focuses on a "man" named "Savage." He's the result of experiments tens of thousands of years before to create cyborgs called "Guardians." Because their creation was so far in the past the Guardians are looked at as mythological creatures. Nobody knows they really exist and they've learned to blend in with humanity very well.  The Guardians are essentially immortal and have a perspective on the events that unfold that dwarfs the understanding of the humans they interact with.

The set up is that the peaceful democratic star systems are in the middle of a 100 year war against a coalition of invading star systems. What most people don't know (but Savage can guess at) is that the invaders are being led by renegade Guardians. With tens of thousands of years of military experience they have a huge edge over the otherwise peaceful systems.

To talk more about the plot would be to give away too many spoilers. But suffice to say this is a tightly written, fast moving piece of science fiction set during a time of war. The best parts are the elaborate strategies used during the space battles. I'm very interested in finding out what happens in the next two volumes.

One side note: The novel is self published and, as such, does  have a fair amount of typos. I did not find them a bother at all, but if that sort of thing is distracting to you, you have been warned.