On her maiden voyage, HMS Warspite discovered Vesy, a world populated by primitive aliens, aliens whose culture had already been twisted and warped by human refugees from the First Interstellar War. Now, Captain John Naiser and his crew spearhead a diplomat mission to the alien homeworld, hoping to ease them into the galactic mainstream.
But with hundreds of others hoping to influence and shape the developing alien culture, and all hell threatening to break loose as human ideals meet alien realities, events on Vesy might just mark the start of a new interstellar conflict …
… And a civil war that will tear the human sphere apart.
This book was, unfortunately, not at all my cup of tea. The Ark Royal series which essentially started this universe (some people seems to consider these books to be part of this series but according to the cover this is a separate series named after the name of the ship and that is what I am going by) was great. Warspite, the first book in this series, was also a book I enjoyed very much although it was clear that it was taking a somewhat different direction from the Ark Royal books.
This book however goes down a path that I did not like at all. Now please understand that there is nothing wrong with the book as such. Mr. Nuttall’s writing is a good as ever but not even he could really manage to make me keep my interest in this story. Why? Because it is almost entirely about politics, scheming, treachery, politicians screwing up and such like despicable activities. When it is not about politics it is about religion (the distinction is sometimes difficult) and naïve idiots that cannot keep their mouths shut. Not only do I not like to read about these things, I positively hate it. Sure there are some action towards the end but I am afraid that it did not really manage to get my interest rekindled.
The newfound aliens are almost only a backdrop to all kind of screw-ups, mostly of the political nature. It is pretty clear already from the start that the real adversaries (in this book it happens to be the Indians) are going in with malicious intent and all through the book we read about how stupid incompetent politicians back on earth screw up the situation while the Indians profit from the situation. As usual they send in our heroes to late and without sufficient resources to do anything meaningful about the situation.
If I would be rating this book entirely based on how much I liked the story itself it would probably get an even lower rating. However, that would be utterly unfair. As I wrote before there is nothing wrong with the technical qualities of the book. The writing is excellent, the characters well done and the story is well developed. I just do not like the story itself and that is of course a very personal opinion.
I will doubtlessly pick up the next book in this series even though I did not really like this one very much. Given how much I have enjoyed the vast majority of Mr. Nuttall’s book I am not about to give up this easily and the title of the next book A Small Colonial War does indeed seem promising.