Books Kindle Science Fiction

The Terrans – Okay but not great start of the prequel series to Theirs Not To Reason Why by Jean Johnson

The Terrans (First Salik War #1) by Jean Johnson
My rating: 5 out of 10 stars

The TerransBorn into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator—but the universe has other plans…

Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity—a psychic soldier or a politician.

But Jackie is both.

After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans—as if their war against humanity had already begun…

The Terrans is the first instalment in a prequel series to Theirs Not To Reason Why. I quite liked the Theirs Not To Reason Why series so when I saw that Jean Johnson came out with a new series in this universe I was quite looking forward to the first book even though I am in general not to found of prequel stories. Unfortunately I am not at all as impressed by this first book in this new series as I was with the book in Theirs Not To Reason Why. The author has included a fairly lengthy explanation at the beginning of the book clearly stating that this book is not the heavy military science fiction as Theirs Not To Reason Why and why she wrote the other series first. Well, this book is indeed a very different book from the books in the other series.

The book is primarily about first contact. Normally I do like those kind of stories but the suspense is somewhat lessened by the fact that this is a prequel and you, as a reader, already know a lot of what there is to know about the species that the Terrans are about to make contact with. Nevertheless there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the core story. It is well written and the characters are well done although I found the utterly unprofessional behaviour of Lieutenant Commander Colver to be somewhat over the top and frustrating.

The book is rather slow though and there is a lot of dialogue which is downright boring. I felt like skipping some of the long sections about sex and courting behaviour and human versus V’Dan culture etc…

The things that annoyed me the most though was the parts where they actually contemplated bringing human charges against the third born child of the Empress of the empire that they just made first contact with because he did, in the heat of the moment, not behave according to the ethical standards of the humans. That was just ludicrous. Equally ludicrous was having this representative of the empire do cleaning duties to “atone for his actions”. What the f…? Speaking of the ethical standards of the humans, having top leaders of the United Planets do mundane cleaning duties just felt laughable to me. These people surely had more important things to do with their time.

I am interested in following this story and see where it goes so I have already pre-ordered the next book in the series despite not being too impressed by this one. I just hope that the story picks up some speed and that the author gets more into the actual First Salik War as the series is named after all. There are many plot elements, especially on the level of the psychic abilities, that will hopefully be interesting plot elements in the future.

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