Books Military Science Fiction Space Opera

The Terran Gambit – Promising start of a new series

Terran GambitThe Terran Gambit (The Pax Humana Saga, #1) by Endi Webb
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The Corsican Empire, or New Rome, as it styles itself, extends the reach of the “Pax Humana” across the thousand worlds, ruling with force and fear. 40 years ago, they returned to Earth, subjugating it and claiming the ancient home of humanity for the Empire.

Now, in 2675, Earth fights back.

Lieutenant Jacob Mercer likes fast motorcycles, faster women, and screamin’ fighters. As a reckless space jock in the Resistance fleet he lives for the thrill, and to take out as many Imperial bogeys as he can. At least, more than his buddies.

But with victory in sight, the Imperials thwart the Resistance in a surprise show of devastating force, and Dallas burns from a thermonuclear blast—millions die—a merciless example of what happens to upstart worlds in the Pax Humana.

The Resistance goes underground to rebuild its strength, and in the shadows, the leadership devises a daring plan to strike right at the Empire’s heart in a final, desperate bid for freedom.

A plan that will send Jake Mercer right to where he doesn’t belong: The captain’s chair of the most advanced warship in the galaxy, facing down a psychopathic Imperial Admiral bent on utterly destroying the Resistance, and Earth itself.

This review is based on a ARC-version of the book but I doubt that the final book will be much different. It is indeed a good start to a new series. Most of the book is pretty much setting the stage for the rest of the series, like the pilot show of a TV-series. The end result is that the stage is set for a somewhat Battlestar Galactica style book series although there are plenty of differences so I use the comparison somewhat loosely.

There are a decent amount of action, ground based, fighter crafts and capital ship action in the book although at times it does slow down a bit with lengthy interpersonal discussions. In general the action is well done and enjoyable to read though.

The author also managed to cram in no less than two attempts to take on the Corsican Empire although I have to say that some elements of these parts of the book felt a bit less thought through. For example you are taking on an interstellar empire and you are surprised, to the extent that you just give up, when they decide to throw a nuke at you. In the second attempt (slight spoiler ahead) they wham a battleship into another battleship and then they not only go on fighting inside for a lengthy amount of time but they somehow manage to jump away while still being stuck together. Felt very unrealistic to me. On the whole these are fairly minor complaints though.

As I wrote before, this book is very much a stage setter for the rest of the series and at the end there are several ongoing threads which of course all are entangled into the main plot of liberating Earth from the Corsican Empire and taking on the all bad Imperial Admiral. The book have all the basic plot elements for making a good action/adventure series. A few heroes, fast women (hey, I’m a guy so I do like that stuff in my books), big ships and a really nasty and despicable bad guy.

I am definitely going to pick up the next book in this series.

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