Stand Into Danger (Empire Rising)
D. J. Holmes
Quick View: An action packed prequel to the Empire Rising series.
Publisher’s summary: It’s 2439 AD. Human nations have been thrown into competition for the resources of nearby star systems.
The Russian Star Federation decides to make a move for one of humanity’s most important colonies. Returning home after a training exercise, Captain Jonathan Somerville and his ship HMS Achilles stumble into the middle of the warzone. Stranded behind enemy lines, the crew of Achilles must fight their way through occupied territory if they are to link up with coalition forces and help turn back the invaders.
Stand into Danger is a military science fiction novella and introduction to the Empire Rising military sci-fi series.
Full Review: Let me start by noting that Stand Into Danger is a short “novella” of just over 100 pages, released as a prequel to the Empire Rising series.
That said, I found it to be an enjoyable, action packed, page turning story in the same vain as the original book in the series, Void War, which I also enjoyed.
In fact, I found that this series has some of the most unique ideas about what the future of mankind in space will be like.
It’s one in which the major nations of Earth, not Earth united, colonize nearby star systems. And those nations have brought with them many of the same alliances, tensions, and rivalries that existed prior to human interstellar travel.
Another unique fact about this universe is how FTL space travel is limited to areas absent of “dark matter,” which seems to be most everywhere except for a limited number of narrow paths between certain stars.
This makes for some interesting limitations on the use of FTL, as well as often forcing ships down pre-established routes which often weave their way through other nation’s star systems.
I also want to mention how strong and like-able I found the main character, Captain Jonathan Somerville.
Unlike captains in other series who struggle with serious personal issues, Somerville is a smart British Captain with a strong sense of national duty as well as fidelity to his nation’s allies.
But it’s his outrage over unnecessary civilian causalities caused by the aggressor in this story that has him risking ship and crew to save lives, and in the process he ranks up quite an impressive record of space battle victories.
In fact, the only fault I have with the book is a very dangerous away mission the captain insists on going on, one that while it does make for a very dramatic chapter, also is the only part of the story that didn’t seem all that plausible.
In the end I can highly recommend Stand Into Danger, and personally look forward to reading more stories like this one from author D.J. Holmes.