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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Enjoyable Military Sci-Fi: My Review of Chris Fox's Destroyer

"Commander Nolan ducked through the hatch into the combat information center of the UFC Johnston." That's the opening line of Destroyer, the first installment in Chris Fox's Void Wraith saga. And there's something about that line that hooks this Star Trek fan.

It's not just that line. Fox knows the military sci-fi genre well. He hits all the right buttons and kept me riveted from beginning to end. Indeed, Destroyer is one of the few novels that I've read more than once!

The setting is simple, yet compelling. Human colonies on the edge of explored space are disappearing without a trace. The UFC Johnston, our heroes' destroyer, undertakes the task of finding out why. In so doing, they tangle with the cat-like Tigris and their own headquarters all while uncovering signs of a seemingly invincible new enemy and a horrifying conspiracy.

Nolan is the Johnston's first officer, a veteran of Fleet Intelligence who was relegated to the aging Johnston and the outer edges of space after a falling out with a high-ranking admiral. A falling out that involved said admiral's daughter. The story follows Nolan who must earn the respect of his maverick captain, a grizzled space marine non-commissioned officer, the Johnston crew, and later the Tigris as he struggles to get to the bottom of what's going on.

The novel is fast-paced and action-packed. Considering the politics and intrigue featured in the novel, it's impressive that Fox keeps the story moving at such a brisk pace while keeping the reader fully engaged - at least those readers (like me) who appreciate military sci-fi along the lines of Star Trek.

In one of his other books, Write to Market, Fox recommends that aspiring indie authors target specific reader markets and thoroughly study the tropes of their chosen genre or sub-genre. Fox practices what he preaches as Destroyer checks all the boxes. His Void Wraith saga is similar to other popular sci-fi series such as Nick Webb's Legacy Fleet series.

I can't speak to the science. I enjoy reading and watching space fantasy and science fiction, but I'm not an expert in space travel, physics, gravity, theories of hyperspace, etc. I'll leave discussion of those aspects to minds much smarter than mine. That said, from this layman's perspective, the 'science' sounded plausible enough for me to suspend any disbelief or suspicions and just enjoy the story.

Destroyer is the first part of the Void Wraith trilogy. The other titles are Void Wraith (Part 2) and Eradication (Part 3). And then the series continues beyond the trilogy with additional novels that feature a mech focus.

If you like sci-fi space action novels, this one belongs in your library. I encourage you to check out Destroyer and begin your reading adventure in the Void Wraith universe.

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