Battle Cruiser and Dreadnought: Lost Colonies 1 & 2
The Lost Colonies trilogy takes place about two hundred years after Earth lost contact with its colony worlds due to a massive solar flare that destroyed the interstellar network used for faster than light travel out of the Sol system. In the intervening years unofficial monarchies have risen on earth as the rich and powerful have grown even more rich and powerful. Most policing actions on Earth are now handled by the private security forces of the major families and in space Earth’s navy has been in steady decline with an ever shrinking operating budget. On a routine patrol William Sparhawk and crew discover evidence that the lost colonies have survived and that the Earth is in grave danger.
So far this series is equal parts entertaining and frustrating. While it scratches that spaceship battle itch, there is a severe lack of depth to most other parts. The two most irritating points are probably the lack of curiosity displayed by the characters and their lack of any kind of security thinking. For example, an enemy agent attempts to assassinate a politician and the entirety of the investigation consists of going to another politician’s house and asking them if they know anything about it. They say no and you never hear about the investigation again. At other points enemy agents are found to have been operating on navy spaceships and once these enemies are exposed there is no further thought put towards them. No one investigates where they came from, how they got access, there’s no check for sabotage or other agents in hiding. It’s all, “well we got the bad guys, it’s all fine now”, my dentist is going to make bank from the amount of teeth grinding this caused me. I’m no security professional, but while reading I just couldn’t stop thinking of various measures that any right thinking individual would attempt in order to secure a possible threat. I understand that the Navy has been in steady decline since Earth lost contact with its colonies. I also understand that the rise of the unofficial royalties of Earth have left a lot of security matters in the hands of private groups. But why wouldn’t they think to take the most basic security measures against a new threat? Especially when you take into account that they have an individual on hand that specifically tells them that they need to check individuals in order to flush out the agents.
Aside from a generally terrible security sense everyone seems to forget that they have a fully functional foreign star-ship and fully cooperative member of that ships former crew. Unfortunately, everyone seems to only be interested in the fact that the ship can fly. No one decides to scour the ships systems for information of anything other than how to fly her. It’s a star-ship and not one person is interested in where it’s been or what it has seen. There’s no talk of searching the data banks for information on enemy capabilities or locations or anything else. Later they make mention that the ships navigational maps got wiped but this was after the ship had been in navy hands for some time and there was still no mention of any other information the ship might contain. At least with their new crew mate they have the excuse that she won’t answer any question that isn’t asked since hers are a generally unimaginative people, but for whatever reason no one bothers to sit her down and ask her for details on anything she might know.
Overall it’s an enjoyable enough series. The action and space combat is solid and the characters that aren’t idiots are generally interesting. Try not to gnash your teeth too hard at the bumbling manners of the persons portrayed and you’ll be fine. There is a strong enough story to keep you interested throughout.