4 out of 4 stars
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Sheppard’s Quest is the third book in the space saga series written by Gary Caplan. The author names as his influences writers like Isaac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, M. Moorcock, Ray Bradbury and he has been always been open about the fact that his works are also inspired by Star Trek and Star Wars series.
After giving us a bit of background story of the previous adventures of Commodore Robert Sheppard at the start of the book, this sci-fi mystery takes on an intergalactic detective mission which is set against the backdrop of a futuristic and varied space civilization.
Sheppard gets involved in a complex situation when a powerful new ally asks for assistance with a strange and puzzling problem. It seems that animals from different space species are disappearing without trace from the Talcon's gigantic world sized spaceship Starcity, which is about the size of the planet Mars.
After Sheppard and his loyal crew begin their expedition in search of the answers, they soon find themselves engaged in precarious battle with several malevolent alien opponents.
This book was a fast-paced thriller that does not disappoint even the most technical minded hard-core sci-fi fans with its comprehensive descriptions of wormholes, particle-beam weapons, nanotechnology, powerful starships (with organo-metallic hulls) and fighters, complex political strategies of the many alien races and also as an extra fun bonus, there are some Jedi-like mindpowers added to the mix.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars because I honestly very much enjoyed the full-blown Star Wars/Star Trek style starship battle scenes that showcased all the advanced technological solutions. The writing is also consistently good, and you can feel the quality of editing, because there are almost no grammar or spelling mistakes.
If you like your sci-fi to give you a good amount of background information of the universe where the events take place, then this will be a satisfying read for you. It has thorough overview of all the trading and nonaggression agreements, extensive technical lingo and descriptions of versatile tactical defense plans of the alliance, special features of alien races involved, information about the ranks of the officers and extensive background stories of most of the political scheming involved. For me, what could be called the cherry on top of this sci-fi dessert, were also the Star Knight skills involved, which are a bit similar to Jedi skills but seemed to offer a more specific variety and tools to work with.
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