The starship New Horizon is Earth’s first attempt at an FTL capable spaceship. But others don’t want the mission to succeed. The mission goes suddenly and horribly wrong with the possibility of inadvertently leading the Hocklyns to Earth decades in advance of their estimated arrival time. Can the cadets on the New Horizon stop the deadly plot before it’s too late?
The Federation survivors on Ceres have built a new warship. It’s the most powerful ship they have ever built. Its mission is simple. Return to the old Federation worlds, search for survivors, and find out how far the Hocklyn Slave Empire has spread. The whole key to their mission is secrecy, but the disastrous events on the New Horizon may jeopardize everything.
Fleet Academy is the fourth book in the Moon Wreck series by Raymond L. Weil and, at around 220 pages it is the first book in the series that is a full novel and not just a short story. As the other short stories in the series this book was an enjoyable read. I quite liked that it was a full book and not just a short story.
In this book we jump ahead in time quite a few years to when Jason is an Admiral and have an adult son, Jeremy, that attends the Fleet Academy in question. The Earth population is still largely ignorant of the Hocklyn threat as well as the presence of humans on Ceres. This includes Cadet Jeremy Strong which makes for some nice surprises along the way. The fact that most Earth people do not know about the dangers to come also causes some people to make some unfortunate decisions which have equally unfortunate effect on the New Horizon’s first mission.
In terms of story advancement this book can be said to be a bit of a interlude with the purpose of introducing some new people. The bulk of the book deals with the New Horizon incident and sure, the aftermath will have some effect on the future of the Moon Wreck universe but not a great deal since the people who now know a bit more was, according to statements in the book, going to be told shortly anyway. Still there are some nice developments that will have an effect on the future. The introduction of the new Monarch Two heavy cruiser by the federation people and of course the fact that Lisa, the AI, seems to develop her sentience. As far as I am concerned the main carryover for future installments are the new characters introduced though.
If I should nit-pick a bit I have to say that the author is a wee bit conservative when it comes to his nuclear arms tonnage. The new all singing and dancing Devastator missiles are supposed to be weighing in at around 10 Megaton. We can already manufacture bombs in the 100+ Megaton range. The Russian Star Bomba, which is the biggest one ever detonated was a 50 Megaton device. At the technological level of fusion reactors, FTL-travel, force fields etc. one would have thought that 10 Megaton would have been a bit on the low side. But, as I said, I’m nit-picking now.
Again I enjoyed reading one of Raymond L. Weil’s books and I am definitely looking forward to the next installment which, according to the author’s website, is going to be out in September/October.