Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book Review: First Contact by Eric Filler

This is some good old-fashioned space opera, even if it's not particularly well-written.  But at 99 cents, how much can you really complain about it?  Well if you're some people, a lot.  I mean some people complain about a book they got for FREE, the old looking the gift horse in the mouth.

Anyway, the story begins with two starships arriving at an uninhabited planet.  (And since this is not "hard" science-fiction there's no explanation of the faster-than-light travel method they use or anything like that.)  Captain Lisa Shaw is in command of the expedition, though she feels slighted to be sent out into the middle of nowhere for years on what should be a milk run.

Except things get more interesting than she ever imagined.  Not long after the humans arrive and begin surveying the planet, an alien ship appears in the system!  Lisa and her crew go through all the standard first contact stuff of trying to send greetings and whatnot, but it soon becomes apparent these aliens are not interested in exchanging messages by musical scales or cave drawings or anything like that.

No, the aliens open fire and within minutes Lisa's ship is destroyed.  She's prepared to go down with the ship, but is saved by Ensign Jack Laurants, who assures her she's needed down on the surface.  A few others of the bridge crew survive as well, but most of the ship's crew is dead, for which Lisa blames herself.

Not much later on the surface, the human ground soldiers of the expedition come under attack by alien warriors.  It's then the alien agenda becomes clear:  they want to use the humans as food!  Though they aren't carving them up like cattle.  The aliens have a much different way of eating, more akin to vampires, though they don't sparkle.

From there the human survivors have to find a way to escape from the aliens and get back to Earth to warn them of the threat.

As I said at the beginning, the writing is not great.  It's pretty amateurish and there are of course typographical errors and such.  But again it was a dollar, so what are you expecting?  The story obviously borrows from a lot of other space opera-type things like Star Wars, Star Trek, Robotech, and maybe a little V--the 80s version.  It's a fun light read.

You can buy the book from Amazon here!

Tuesday is another Two-Fer...

5 comments:

  1. I prefer my space opera without explanations of FTL travel. I read one recently that literally spent a third of the book on it. So boring. Just get to the damned planet and let me take for granted that FTL is just something you need.

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  2. "It's a cookbook! It's a cookbook!" Yeah, for 99 cents it's hard to demand your money back Pat. Sounds like a good read though.

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  3. Your endorsement isn't all that enthusiastic, but as you say it's only a buck.

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  4. I can't exactly say that your review won me over, but I'll keep it in mind. And the worst 'professional' book I've read in recent memory was almost entirely about FTL travel. I mean, it was a universe that already had FTL, but then they spend most of the book improving it... slightly. So stupid.

    So yeah, the whole thing brings up some unpleasant memories.

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  5. I tend to believe one shouldn't review a book based on the price because reading a book is an investment of time. Plus there are tons of e-books for only a buck these days. I'd rather read something great for a buck rather than just okay with some errors.

    But on the other hand, I prefer to sample rather than listen to reviews. :)

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