The Ember War – A good start of a new human survival sci-fi series.

The Ember War (The Ember War Saga #1) by Richard Fox
My rating: 8 out of 10 stars

The Ember WarIn the near future, an alien probe arrives on Earth with a pivotal mission—help humanity survive an impending invasion by an alien armada so massive it can blot out the stars, or leave the human race to certain extinction.

Despite overwhelming odds, the probe recruits a young inventor named Marc Ibarra to plan a daring gambit. To weather the coming storm, Ibarra must build a space fleet strong enough to face an implacable foe in a battle against annihilation.

This is quite a good start of a new series in the alien invasion/human survival science fiction genre. It has a certain originality, it is fairly well written and has a decent pace.

I have to say that, based on the book blurb, I did expect a slightly different story. Obviously I cannot reveal anything about the story without spoiling parts of the book but I quite liked how the author has created a somewhat original story on a not so original basic theme.

The book is generally well written as I wrote although the characters are perhaps a bit superficially handled most of the time. It did not disturb me a lot, I rather have somewhat superficial characters than endless monologues, dialogues and introspection, but it also made me feel that there was no character that stood out as the main character, the hero, that you felt like following. Perhaps some of this feeling comes from the fact that although Marc Ibarra should have been the big hero, and technically he is, he is actually not present for most of the book.

The pace of the book is reasonably fast paced and for most of the part it suited me just fine. However I also feel that some parts that I wanted to read about was left out. Specifically, there is a place where the author makes a fast forward over several decennia and that leaves a lot of the story untold. I can understand why the author did it since it made it possible to have more of a surprise effect later in the book but it still feels like a bit of the book was missing.

The authors solution to the “small” problem of a somewhat hostile race with an armada that blots out the sun and the incompatibility of this with the survival of the human race was a bit of a surprise to me. I quite enjoyed his solution. Since this is supposed to be the first book in a series it is hardly a spoiler when I write that the human race, at least some of it, did survive…for now.

The last chapters of the book sets the stage for the books to come and although it would be fair to say that the book does not end in a blatant cliffhanger it does indeed leave quite a few loose ends and questions. It was definitely an enjoyable book for me. Maybe a bit simple and not very deep reading at times but a good adventure with a refreshing originality. I am most certainly going to pick up the next one when it comes out.