In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders. Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans. With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity. In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.
RATING: 3 stars
REVIEW: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My adolescence was filled with immersing myself in the genre of science fiction. Star Trek and later books were my companions of choice. When I saw this book, though I haven't read the first in the series, I felt an urge to go back to those times of warp engines and aliens and courageous officers saving the ship that is their life.
I got it all, I got the warp engines (called a Faster Than Light (FTL) engine here), the aliens (those bad Titans, nothing can ever come good from methane), and Lieutenant Henry Gallant provided the courageous officer from the very first page. Also, in true original Star Trek fashion, I also got the romance with Lieutenant Gallant and Alaina. These are all wonderful things.
Its what else was there that made me not like the book as much as I should have. Details. I love details as much as all other readers, I love being immersed in the world I am reading. However, I found that there were so many details that it bogged down the storyline and made my eyes glaze over. A brief mention of the physics behind the FTL engine is fine, but when the reader is forced into a page of quantum physics in a fictional book, its too much. The detailed minutiae behind fixing the ship is really unnecessary unless it pulls the storyline forward. For instance, a chapter of the details of the building of the factories necessary to fix the ship is absolutely unnecessary unless I see the breakdown of the engines of one of the transport vehicles is going to push the storyline further.
Less detail in this book would have made for a much better storyline that wasn't so stop and go.