Graphic Debut Space Opera Adventure Romp of the First Order
I love getting to know new authors and this is Sean Allen’s debut novel. From visiting his homepage devolutionnovels.com I knew Sean is a bit of a renaissance man with an entertaining style of writing so I gladly accepted his publishers generous offer of a review copy. Since I haven’t seen fit to give myself a Pad (with or without an i) I read this on my iPhone. It translates to 1660 pages with the font I am using, just shy of 600 pages in print I would say. I like long novels so that was a plus right there.
What is it about? It is set in a universe with lots of different races, all likeness with earth animals intended (see the cast page). But they all have a problem with the Durax, a diminutive race with mind-controlling powers bent on conquering everyone and cruelly bend them to their will. Against them is the Dissension, a rebel organization with a Serum that protects them from the Durax’s mental powers. But something seems to be wrong with the Serum so they set out to catch the assumed culprit who happens to be the last Human (at least as far as she knows, she doesn’t really know she is human but from what she has read she assumes she is). Dezmara Strykar is a feisty rather likeable character and the whole mystery around her added a great deal of appeal to this book. That’s why it was rather frustrating to read the first fifth of the book since she doesn’t appear until then.
The beginning is a rather brilliant battle that makes use of almost every possible trope in military science fiction at least once and some of them many times and I mean that in a positive way. It was thrilling action packed and frustrating because I kept waiting on Dezmara. Things like that is author cruelty.
The rest is a fast paced, thrilling romp of a space opera adventure that just asks for more. There is treason, double-crosses, crash landings, rescues, pirates, traps, gambling, debt slaves, monsters, conspiracies, and strong characters.
You might believe the that writer is a graphic artist since the descriptions are really that, graphic. And that is the only real critic I would like to give, some of the description or events might be unnecessary drawn out due to wordy descriptions. The illustrations are in fact made by Matt Dixon.
Sean calls it ‘Greasepunk’ and it gives me sort of a Warhammer 40k (I have never read any 40k books but played the game) vibe mixed with classic science fiction and a good portion of humor. The banter level is acceptable (you know it is important to me) but it is the simple fun of the action that hooked me. I liked this book more and more as I read it and by the middle I was hooked.
This is a standalone book with a satisfying conclusion but open for more books about the characters and the D-Evolution universe I would gladly sign up for.
You can download and read half the book on devolutionnovels.com or you can buy it there.
Death Drop (D-Evolution book 1) by Sean Allen (Vinatage Six Media 2011) – B&N – review copy
400,000 years have passed since the last known Human was exterminated, and Dezmara Strykar can’t remember anything before the moment, eight years ago, when she woke up in an abandoned space freighter. But in that time, she has come to realize three things: she’s the best pilot and smuggler in the universe, she can handle herself in a fight, and she’s Human.
A race of creatures called the Durax rule the universe using their savage mind powers, and the remaining free people have two choices: join the Dissension Army and fight, or struggle to survive in the cutthroat world of outlaws the war has created. In a time when a live Human specimen would fetch a king’s ransom on the black market, choosing life as a smuggler seemed like the perfect front to search for her people. But the cost of Dezmara’s operation has forced her to win each smuggling run she enters. Now every smuggler is gunning for her top position, and her rare black Zebulon star freighter makes her an easily recognizable target.
But dodging jealous smugglers, safeguarding her Human identity, and solving the mystery surrounding who she is will become harder than she ever imagined. A mysterious creature in a black Zebulon star freighter has murdered a soldier in the Dissension Army and has stolen their greatest weapon in the war against the Durax. Dezmara’s next run will turn into much more than just a cover to search for Humans. Dezmara Strykar just became the Dissension’s number one murder suspect. Now she is going to have to run for her life.