Tuesday, June 4, 2013

eBook Review: A Light in the Dark

Nathan Lowell, A Light in the Dark

Product Details

  • File Size: 362 KB
  • Print Length: 78 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Durandus (July 22, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005E8YZF4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (49 customer reviews) 
  • Price: $0.99
1. Short review:  (Amazon rating: 4 out of 5 stars -- I like it.)

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: A good story, well told. Nathan Lowell writes well.
This story happens in the Solar Clipper universe but not in the Ishmael Wang series.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Kind of a roller coaster.
Easily worth the money.

2.2. What I did not like: The story got slow in the middle but for a reason. It picked up before it got tedious.
Sorry, but I did not like the way Lowell wrote the captain's mast proceedings near the end. I gave the book 5 stars until I read that.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Science fiction fans.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? Yes.

2.6. The plot in a nutshell.

     Bjorn Gunderson captains the solar clipper Wanderer. His ship is boarded and inspected dockside by the authorities, because a zealous import officer noticed a small discrepancy in his manifest (extra spaces at the end of a line). This alerts us that the authorities suspect someone is smuggling.
     On departure, BG notices a friend's vessel shipping out short a can (a cargo container) and sailing an odd route. The friend's vessel show up with a full load; that is, not short a can. Hmmm.
     On the next run, a small meteor pierces the Wanderer and slags its star drive. The crew repair the hull quickly but cannot repair the drive. They scavenge food from one of the cans and jettison the cargo. With reaction engines, BG sails toward a traffic nexus, broadcasting mayday and praying to be rescued.
     A crewman assaults BG and escapes the Wanderer in a lifepod. BG spends a week in the autodoc, but it cannot save his left eye. Can you say 'pirate's patch'? I knew you could.
     Wanderer gets found. Crewman gets a captain's mast. BG's crew take off on other ships. BG and his first mate, Nancy, remain aboard to serve the smugglers passing through the nexus.

2.7. Other:
    The merchant marine of the Solar Clipper universe uses a military hierarchy and a military judicial system.
    I loved this story until the captain's mast. The idea that a crewman would be offered a captain's mast for assaulting his captain is less believable than a star drive. That boy is going to a court martial and will likely dance the Danny Deever.
    Okay, okay, I get what NL tried to do. But in the middle of the Mast the presiding officer adds another charge -- mutiny. Wow. We're making this up as we go.

2.8. Links:
Nathan Lowell

2.9. Buy the book: A Light in the Dark

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