The Human Federation of Worlds thought they were alone in the galaxy. But now an alien spacecraft has appeared over one of their distant mining operations. The frightened miners immediately call for help to deal with this worrisome first contact situation.
Admiral Streth is sent to implement talks with the aliens and to find out what they want. The aliens inform the admiral that they are called Hocklyns and are from a large multi-world trading federation. In truth, they come from an empire that is expanding through the galaxy and conquering world after world for slaves, and they have set their sights on the human worlds as their next conquest.
I generally do not like prequels. Not in movies, not in TV-shows and not in books. I feel that knowing where the journey is going to lead you just detracts too much from the enjoyment of reading and progressing through the story. Despite this, I still enjoyed this book. It is another full length novel from Raymond L. Weil following the Moon Wreck short stories.
There appears to be some confusion as to the name of these two book-series. At least if you look at Amazon. On their site “Moon Wreck: First Contact” is also labelled “Slaver Wars, #1” were as this book is labelled “Alien Contact, Slaver Wars One”. Actually all the Moon Wreck books have also been labelled with Slaver Wars in the title. I would chalk that up to sloppy data entry or some marketing dimwit thinking that changing the labels would make more people buy in on the two book-series. However, if you read the authors site it seems fairly clear that he labels the Moon Wreck books just that and this one is indeed the first one in the Slaver Wars series and the coming book will be the second one in this series. Having said that, both book series are indeed within the same universe and within the same overall story only different parts of it.
As for the book it is written in the same general style as the other books which is a fairly simple, easy to read and unpretentious storytelling. The space action is perhaps not the most elaborate I have read but it was fun reading nonetheless. Of course, the book being a prequel, you knew the major elements of what was going to happen and this reduced the fun a bit. Still we did get to learn a bit more, not only how the humans of the federation was forced to flee to Earth but also how they ended up becoming a federation far from Earth in the first place. In a interesting plot twist we also learned a bit more about the enemy AI ships and the Hocklyn’s. That was a nice revelation that makes me eager to learn where the author will go with that plot element in future books.
On the hole I quite enjoyed this book despite it being a prequel and, as I said already when reviewing Fleet Academy, I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the Moon Wreck/Slaver Wars universe.