Adventure Alien Invasion Books Military Miscellaneous Science Fiction

Koban – A bit slow to start but an excellent (nasty) alien encounter adventure.

I have had this book on my to-read list for a while but have not gotten around to read it. I recently saw that some of my friends on Goodread gave it high marks so I finally decided to give it a go. That was a good choice.

Koban (Koban Series #1) by Stephen W. Bennet
My rating: 9 out of 10 stars

KobanQuantum gravity theory revealed hidden dimensions that concealed gravity’s strong link to Tachyon Space. Nearly unlimited cheap energy from tachyons led to the creation of Jump Hole technology and faster than light travel to the stars. In two hundred years, humanity had colonized over seven hundred planets in a volume five hundred light years in radius. Humankind enjoyed the benefits of the end of wars and disbanded its standing armies. Life was idyllic for three hundred years.

Then the Krall came.

The Krall, a warrior race with lightning-fast reflexes has used combat for 25,000 years to select the genes of the strongest and fastest warriors. This breeding program created a species fit to dominate the galaxy. Dominate everywhere but on Koban, an uninhabited planet with high gravity, teal colored flora and impossibly fast and savage animals that employ organic superconducting nerves.

The Krall captured humans at the fringes of their expansion for testing on Koban. Humanity was useful only if they were adequate fighters. If not, the Krall intended to destroy the species because they already had slave races, and humans were poor tasting meat animals. If humans proved worthy opponents, the Krall would fight with the same weapons humans used, in order to continue their quest for physical perfection.

Growing weary of the humans’ incapacity to fight well, the Krall were close to a decision to eliminate the race when they captured their last cargo of humans for testing – a ship containing bio-scientists. The choice was simple: Put up a good fight or condemn humanity to extinction. The Krall will discover more than one species knows how to bypass natural selection.

I have had this book on my to-read list for a while but I have not gotten around to read it. I recently saw that some of my friends on Goodread gave it high marks so I finally decided to give it a go. That was a good choice.

Humanity has been exploring the galaxy in relative piece for hundreds of years. Their only problems have been the usual poor choices of the human race which has led them to make yet another poor choice which leaves them defenceless to the new threath although most of the humans do not yet know about the nightmare that is coming their way. This book is about the few people who are about to, firsthand, experience that nightmare.

The book starts of a wee bit slow but it is quite well written and, although it is perhaps advancing at a somewhat leisurly pace it was still catching my interrest during the entire journey.

Nedless to say the humans concerned are in a for quite a surprise. The aliens are worse than their worst nightmares and, even worse, they soon learn that the very survival of the human race might actually rest in their hands. Not that it matters right now since survival is on position one, two, three etc. on their pritority list. Luckily, well they are the heroes after all, their survival is intimately tied into whether or not the human race will be exterminated or not.

The aliens are an interresting bunch. The book is nicely balanced between the human struggle and the aliens trying to fullfill their desires of following the “Grand Path”. The aliens are hugely adept at killing, by brute force, due to their millenia long selective breeding of warriors. Yet they may have forgotten that strengh alone is not sufficient. It soon turns out that they are children in some aspects of tactical thinking as well as in other matters. Matters where the humans excel.

The wast majority of the book centers around the survival of the human party that was captured. During the course of events a number of characters, of course, takes on the leadership (hero) role. There are a number of characters that are behaving like the usual political assholes that they are as well of course. I am happy to write that the latter set of despicable people are really put aside reasonably quickly and do not really play a major role in the book.

In short this is a book about ascending heroes and humans first encounter with (nasty) aliens. It is very much a, quite long, stage setter for things to come and there are indeed a lot of promise as far as “things to come” goes. I am going to cheat a bit here and reveal that I have already read book two in the series and the next one is at least as good.

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