Good morning and welcome to this week’s edition of In the Books, featuring New Frontier by Jeremy Lee.
As a new era dawns for humanity, finally breaking the bonds that left us tied to the Solar System, this giant leap is to be marred by greed and erupting violence. The new frontier, ripe for colonization and opportunity, is filled with the honest and ruthless alike.
Two rival corporations have all but supplanted nation-states, keeping governments around only as a necessary fiction to pacify populations, as the realm of business now reaches into politics, military, religion, and all other aspects of human life. The frontier regions of space, barely able to keep from slipping into total anarchy, are filled with new homesteaders, miners, merchants, bandits, and scientific minds. When one company gains the edge and is the first to crack an engine to bring the Alcubierre formula into reality, and thus travel faster than the speed of light, the rivalry between the two multi-national conglomerates is taken to a dangerous new and martial level. The battle for profits in the market place is now being waged by armies and fleets in space.
The Argos, adrift and crippled far from home, is the only hope for its remaining crew. These survivors of a mysterious attack struggle to hold their ship together and come to the rescue of homesteaders and compatriots relying on them.
Contrasting with the dubious motivations of those in power, the crew of the Argos are people who crave adventure and are above the miasma of greed that sends them their orders. As the great battle breaks out at the moment that should have been humanity’s greatest triumph, the gallant and the selfish alike are forced to face the best and worst of human civilization far from home and decide what they truly believe in.
When it comes to science fiction we don’t really know what to expect. It’s part of what draws us into the genre and this book is one of the best I’ve read. Each character is well developed and gives the story depth. Each of their back stories are told in their own chapters set as little a day to years before the current timeline. It reminded me of Tom Clancy and how he could weave handfuls of characters together and give them all an important role in the story. It also happens to be one of the drawbacks for me.
Due to the constant flashbacks for each character, it was difficult to find a rhythm when reading and I felt like I needed a scorecard to keep track of them all. The thing is, it’s the only way the author would’ve been able to tell his story without having a separate book with their flashbacks.
There isn’t a typical main character, but the underlying theme of the story is the redemption of Davi Cardoso, a billionaire playboy and son of a founding member of the Alliance. We’re taken from his teenage exploits to his opportunity to become a part of history. While not uncommon in science fiction, there are other subplots throughout the novel that give the story a strong emotional pull to each of them.
All in all, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to any science fiction fan.
If you’re interesting in learning more, clicking on the cover image will take you to amazon.com.