“Science fiction at its best.
I generally have a feeling, a chapter or two into a book, about what I'm going to think of it. Sometimes I'm mistaken and on those occasions it's usually a downward revision because the initial promise is not fulfilled, usually because the quality of writing drops off.
This book - First contact - fulfills the promise. It's a quality read in every way.
The story develops so well, the characters are beautifully drawn, the language is articulate, the dialogue is natural. In fact, I don't have a bad word to say about it.
I like quality science fiction. I don't read it exclusively, in fact I don't read a great deal of it. But Isaac Asimov was one of my early favorite authors and Michael R Hicks is set to become a new one.
Set in a far off future when humans have peopled new planets with Earth as the home world and hyperspace jumping makes exploring for compatible worlds possible, a ship makes the human race's first contact with an alien race. They've jumped into Kreelan Empire territory. For the Kreelan's this is not first contact. A much, much older civilization that ours, they live to fight, to bring honor to their Empress through battle with worthy opponents.
There are no goodies and baddies in this story; one I believe that will be epic in both the story line and the telling of it.
The story is a fight from almost the opening pages to the last, and if I had known that before starting I would probably not have bothered with it - I'm not a fan of war stories. But this one is so well told with the characters attaining a depth of development I would have doubted possible beforehand.
The author has done some smart marketing by making book 1 in the series free. He's well aware that few of its readers are going to demur at buying the rest to see where he leads us.
A thoroughly deserved 5 stars from me.
Alana Woods wrote this review Sunday, September 2, 2012.