An Unproven Concept – Okay(ish)

An Unproven ConceptAn Unproven Concept (Vergassy Chronicles, #2) by James Young
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

The Confederation of Man has overseen the prosperous expansion of humanity for centuries, with the Confederation Fleet its bulwark against all that would harm it. This shield is beginning to show its defects, however, with a schism between the Line and Carrier factions threatening the Fleet’s ability to protect mankind against internal dissent and the possibility of external threats. In the year 3050, Fleet Admiral Malinverni has designed the battlecruiser Constitution to merge the best of both factions in the hope of forging a better future. Considered a flawed concept by all but her crew, if either Fleet faction can help it neither the Constitution nor her captain, Mackenzie Bolan, will ever get a chance to prove themselves.

Aboard the starliner Titanic, Captain Abraham Herrod is confronted with the possibility emerging technology may soon render his craft obsolete. Convinced the Titanic’s modernity and onboard weapons makes her all but invincible, Captain Herrod takes his vessel into unknown space in an attempt to prolong the “Golden Age of Starliners.”

The full title of this book is the rather long-winded An Unproven Concept: The Unfortunate Starwreck of the Spaceliner Titanic. I think this is my problem with this book. It really has two components that are kind of woven together. One is the “unproven concept”, a new carrier/battlecruiser hybrid. The other is the starliner Titanic and how she gets herself into a real mess. I do not think I am really spoiling any surprises when I write that the first have to get involved in cleaning up the second.

Now, the Unproven Concept part of the book I quite liked. The characters and their interaction was enjoyable reading. The science and the ship action was quite good. This part had a lot of promise.

The Titanic part…well I did not like that bit as much. It was quite different reading. If you have read the teaser short story, Ride of the Late Rain, (spoiler alert if you have not) you known that aliens get involved in the “unfortunate part” of the Titanic’s adventures and much of this part of the story felt rather illogical. Especially the behavior of the aliens. Just to mess things up even more the author throws in some high level subversive behaviour and plotting between the various human parties aboard the Titanic as well.

The action related part of the book ends quite bit before the actual end of the book and the last chapters are a rather slow going mopping up with a lot of talking and not much interesting happening. One positive point though would be that the real asshole in the book does indeed get what he deserves.

If a much larger part of the book would have revolved around the battlecruiser Constitution then this could have been a really good book. As it stands today I feel it is an okay(ish) book but not much more. It also ends with a huge unresolved thread…the aliens. If the author comes out with another book that picks up on the military aspect of this book and the aliens then I will probably pick it up.

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