Friday, June 29, 2012

Right Ascension

By: David Derrico

Humanity's position of political and technological dominance within the galaxy is suddenly shattered when a sleek alien vessel arrives unexpectedly at Earth. Admiral Daniel Atgard and the crew of the Apocalypse embark on a mission to find these enigmatic aliens, but the focus of the mission quickly turns from finding answers to exacting revenge. Meanwhile, a belligerent species of reptilian warriors, seeking to avenge a previous defeat at the hands of the human-controlled United Confederation of Planets, takes this opportunity to plan an all-out assault on Earth. Faced with overwhelming odds and the terrible knowledge of mankind's most horrifying secret, Daniel must choose between honor ... and humanity's very survival.

I don't like science fiction novels. It's an odd thing to me. I like both Star Trek and Star Wars, but the thought of reading about adventures in space doesn't appeal to me in any way. With that in mind, I have no idea what I was thinking when I downloaded Right Ascension to my Kindle. Perhaps I wasn't aware of what the book was about. I think it may have been during a time that I was simply downloading titles that sounded good. "Right Ascension" doesn't sound like science fiction, but then again, I don't think I was concerned about that because I wasn't anywhere near that genre on  In any event, when I flipped the first digital page and saw the date set in 3040, I'm pretty sure I let out an audible groan. I decided to give it a chance, however, and soon I was in the midst of an intergalactic firefight. . .

. . . And I was hooked.

Derrico brings you right into the middle of the story where you are introduced to a cast of characters so diverse, yet so identifiable, that you can't help but turn the page.  The story follows Daniel, Admiral of the Apocalypse, as he witnesses incredible tragedy that threatens to destroy the whole of humanity. In his search for answers, he discovers more than he barganed for and now he must face the cold reality that mankind, perhaps, deserves the fate that is inexorably drawing near.  Can Daniel face his internal demons and come to grips with the truth that casts a cloud over all he holds dear?

While the story idea is far from original, Derrico masterfully weaves a tale that drives the reader forward. Yes, it was predictable in parts, and it was even somewhat anti-climactic (though that may be a byproduct of my reading habits: reading it in half-hour chunks of time), the story is eloquently told. I wasn't impressed with the planets, or the fights, or the "Earth is gonna die" parts of Right Ascension - I am incredibly impressed with Derrico's storytelling ability. If he can tell such a predictable tale and it is this good, I can't wait to see what he can do with a quality piece of originality!

If you like sci-fi, you'll probably enjoy Right Ascension. Personally, I would recommend this book to anyone, and I am on the lookout for more works from Derrico. It's that good.

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