Books Military Science Fiction Young Adult

Cadet – Okay adventure story for the younger audience

The Defender of the EmpireCadet by Catherine Beery
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Welcome to the Spectral Empire. A galactic empire enfolding hundreds of colony worlds governed by the Twenty-Five Prime Worlds who are in turn ruled by the Imperial Council and the Emperor. A society of great advancement but broken and under threat…

My name is Rylynn Sinclair of Colony Lenti. I have lived there with my Aunt Sylvia for as long as I can remember. We were by no means rich, but we were happy. We had a roof over our heads and food on the table. So what if the neighbor was a mean drunk and I was often bullied by the resident gang? I had a home.

My simple life had a hole blown into it when I was thirteen. My home was destroyed the day before the mercenary scourge of the Empire came. War, in all but name, began. And because certain interests were left alone, no help was forthcoming from our noble Prime World. Survival became the only playable card. When I saw that my group of hopeful escapees were in danger of being killed by a pair of hunting Telmicks I traded my life for their chance to escape…

And that is when everything… well…went weird. I was saved and given a new life as a cadet in the illustrious Legion Fleet Academy: a position never before held by a mere colonist. Not only that, I became involved in the Admiral’s Competition. And to add to the weirdness that my life had become, I started hearing voices. Many voices. Some helpful. Others just cryptic. And all of this on top of being the only witness to a serial killer…

I bought this book a bit on a whim because it popped up in my Kindle recommendations and it appeared to be the kind of story that I usually like. The story revolves about a few rather young characters. Very young indeed if the term cycles are anything near the years on Earth. The story is also very simplistic, adventurous and fairly unbelievable which is why I personally would classify this book as Young Adult.

The book starts off by trying to set the backstory for the rest of the book but there is not much world building. Throughout the book we never really get much information about things, just that Earth is gone, that humanity now is ruled by an emperor and that there are mysterious energy based entities around. These entities lives bound to a human and seems to manifest themselves as animals. Sounded a bit like The Golden Compass to me.

To basic story is not really bad. However, it is very simplistically implemented. Rylynn’s adventures are quite unbelievable especially taken into account the very short timespan in which the story takes place. The logic of the actions falters from time to time and anything like actual science and military strategy is mostly absent. The characters are generally rather shallow and I never really felt that I took that much liking to any of them, including Rylynn.

Having said that, it is not really a bad book, just perhaps a bit more for the not so experienced reader. It is a pleasant enough adventure and I have read a lot worse books. Not sure I will bother picking up a second book if one comes out though.

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