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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Scerakor
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After Captain Cooper and the SFPT-109 make contact with the alien ship in the vicinity of Neptune, they quickly find out that this ship is full of 240,000 aliens fleeing the evil Zenge race that have attacked their home planet. They barely made it away from the battle and now are quickly running out of supplies. The technology of this cruise liner (now refugee ship) is significantly inferior to that of the humans and they will never make Earth or Mars in order to re-supply. Not only are supplies crucially low, the Zenge may pursue the craft through the wormhole at any moment to finish off the limping ship. Captain Cooper decides to stay behind with the alien ship and send Genna back to Mars as soon as possible so she can bring back help.
Aboard the ship, Captain Cooper makes humanity’s official first contact with a number of alien races, does whatever he can in order prepare for the inevitable Zenge attack, and even makes some (extremely) personal relationships with some of the female aliens aboard. Together with the two Fell (female warrior race) and the Osperantue captain of the cruise ship, they strategize on how to beat the Zenge and hope that the SFPT-109 makes it back in time for the fight.
Contact and Conflict is an excellent tale about humanity’s first contact and how they are thrown into a role as a protector for alien underdogs. Not only does the “humanity meets aliens for the first time” story stand on its own, there are many aspects of this book that make it stand out from that traditional storyline. The space-battles are extremely intense and well thought out, the interactions between Captain Cooper and the different alien races is excellently written, the examples of both exemplary and poor leadership in duress is fantastic, and everything is thrown into a “just far enough” future to still be relatable. My favourite parts of this book, besides the contact story (I have a penchant for the unknown and for survival stories) were the strategy and the space-battles. It shows that Mr. Foxe has put a lot of thought into the militaristic tactics of fighting a space-based war on a 3-dimensional battlefield and it comes off fantastically.
My only issues with this book are not necessarily detrimental to the story line, but ever present in books like these. It always just so happens that the characters in these novels are the fastest, brightest, strongest and most brilliant tacticians (even to the point of being genetically engineered to be so!) Captain Cooper is able to best multiple aliens in hand-to-hand combat because of his super-strength and those Fell he has just met happen to be some of the brightest communications engineers in the universe. Go figure! As well, there is some amazing last minute solutions to problems that come up throughout the story that borders on Deux Ex Machina. I completely understand that this is a science-fiction novel and the genre is riddled with futuristic technology and superior beings, but you definitely need to keep this point in mind while reading the novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and since it had me on the edge of my seat until the end, I give it 4 out of 4 stars. This book is highly recommended for any lovers of the sci-fi genre, those that are attracted to a book with an epic battle or two in space, or a lovers of a good underdog/hero story. If sci-fi is not your cup of tea, or if you are bothered by your heroes finding impossible solutions after they’ve painted themselves into a corner, this may not be for you. I have just read that the second book in this series is coming out soon and I will likely jump at the chance to continue reading the saga.
Contact and Conflict
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Like Scerakor's review? Post a comment saying so!
Donnavila Marie01 wrote:This is fantastic! Ilove the thought that humans through their creations are saving aliens. Unlike the traditional stories that the safety of the human race is at the mercy of the aliens.
Although it is up to the humans... I do have to caveat the the technology that means that we are more advanced than these other aliens, was left behind on Mars for us to find and reverse engineer. It should make little difference in your mind here though, as it is still our actions that are required. Thanks for the comment!
-- 10 Apr 2017, 07:24 --
Kitkat3 wrote:Excellent and thorough review! Every once a while I'm in the mood for some sci-fi, and this sounds like a really good book. The only thing that might slightly bother me is the "impossible solutions," but the story line sounds like enough to keep me interested.
It was definitely a full-up science fiction book that will keep you flipping page after page. The "impossible solution" is not more than anything usually seen in this genre, but still noticeable. **Desperately tries to think of a popular sci-fi example** Think of movie "Independence Day" and how there were no issues with computer engineers from here easily creating a virus and uploading it to the mother ship to cause total destruction... a little too easy? Still fun to watch/read. Thanks for the comment!
― Ernest Hemingway
kandscreeley wrote:Wow! This really does sound like something I need to put on my to read list. Kind of reminiscent of Star Trek. Sounds like you really enjoyed it! Thanks!
I unfortunately haven't had extensive exposure to Star Trek, but from what I have seen, I can see the similarities. Multiple races on the bridge of an advanced space vessel strategising how to survive the incoming attacks. Thanks for the comment and the comparison!
A very good review.
Chrys Brobbey wrote:An utopian concept indeed - the Earth united under a single government! Will never happen in a trillion years, but that is what science fantasy novels are made of. I'm not really a fan of Sci-Fi, but I might need to check this action-packed one out.
A very good review.
Thank you for your comment. Just to be perfectly clear, the comment about the single government was almost entirely to set the stage. It may come into play more heavily over the next couple of books, but it was wholly on the periphery of the story itself! The book was almost completely focused on first contact and defense.
Jaime Lync wrote:Your review did an awesome job at selling the book and it's upcoming sequel. I also am not a fan of how the characters just happen to be the best at fighting and the smartest people ever. It kinda takes away from us folks being able to fully relate with the characters because sometimes they seem too perfect and God knows we ain't perfect.
That's a great point; it's all about being relatable. Some of the books that become cult classics fit with their audience because the readers can see themselves beside, or in the shoes of, their favorite characters. It reminds me of reading Ender's Game as a young boy, and I can definitely see Harry Potter as having a similar effect. With super human characters, we kind of get lost... Thanks for the comment!
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