An epic sci-fi space opera in the vein of the Battlestar Galactica television show, the Dark Space series from Jasper T. Scott (@JasperTScott) features thrilling space battles and a multitude of twisty sub-plots arising from humanity’s fight for survival a decade after the devastating invasion of the alien Sythians pushed human survivors into a hidden corner of the galaxy: Dark Space (see my review of the first book, Dark Space).
The second book in the series, Dark Space: The Invisible War (my review) ended with every major character facing crisis, and Dark Space: Origin wastes no time getting the reader back into the action and drama surrounding the Ortane family.
Ethan Ortane, a convicted smuggler who was blackmailed into carrying out a devastating attack that crippled the remaining human fleet keeping Dark Space safe, and his teenage son Atton languish in jail after being accused of treason for impersonating the Overload, the leader of humans in Dark Space. Ethan’s attack left the capital starship Valiant in the hands of crime boss Alec Brondi, who never met another human he wouldn’t sacrifice for his own gain.
After barely surviving the Sythian attack on her homeworld, Ethan’s wife Destra escapes and lands on a barely habitable planet in the company of a fleet admiral who plays a central role in the third installment of the book. After Hoff Heston and Destra are rescued, he will go on to lead the military contingent that remained outside of Dark Space, evading the Sythians who have cloaking technology. Heston and the Overlord — first Atton and then Ethan Ortane in disguise — disagree on several issues, most centrally the trustworthiness of the alien Gors, a deadly race enslaved by the Sythians but who now fight alongside the Dark Space humans.
Paying off on plot points raised in the first two books, Dark Space: Origin delves into politics, the nature of humanity, family, loss and love, in much the same vein as quality sci-fi works as Battlestar Galactica. Although some of it dips close to soap opera territory, the pace never flags for long and action scenes both large and small are both exciting and well-executed. The ending is satisfying as I thought it nicely tied up all loose ends, but to my surprise there is a fourth book in the works.
After sampling the provided chapter from the next installment in the series, I’m looking forward to reading it. For more about the author and his writing, visit his website.