4 Small Stars
Orion's Dawn

The author actually wrote to me and requested a review. I like doing that because it brings books to my attention that I might otherwise not notice. I wasn’t able to get right to reading his book since I already have a full reading list, but I do eventually get books read and reviewed and its not been that long since the request. If you want me to read and review your book, just email me a request and I’ll get it done.

Now, I don’t really like reading novellas and that’s exactly what this book is. It’s short. I’m no speed reader, but I got this book read in a few hours and that’s not how I like to read books. I don’t feel that novellas have enough to really grab the interest of the reader. Additionally, they don’t go into much background about the characters and therefore the reader can’t really relate to what’s going on.

Still, this novella was one of the better ones that I have read in quite awhile. I like the writing very well. The story does have enough details about the main characters that it makes for an interesting read. Now initially, it’s kind of hard to find out who the main characters are, because there are several threads started at the beginning of the book and there are time gaps between actions. You’ll need to be aware of the year for each chapter because they do skip from 2209 to 2212 and then to 2213. Things do happen to some of the characters to change their role quite a bit from the first chapter to about Chapter 6. I kind of found it hard to remember who I was reading about, but it eventually sorted itself out.

I believe our main character is Jason Cassidy. He’s initially a young Lieutenant aboard the United Earth Commonwealth Starship (UECS) Raptor. They were on a “mop-up mission” to find and destroy one of the last Centauri Rebellion starships. Upon closing with that ship, the enemy dropped a tritonium torpedo which, while not destroying the Raptor, did some significant damage. It also caused the death of the Captain and First Officer placing Lieutenant Jason Cassidy in Command. He still continued the mission and in doing so, he had to make a fatal decision that caused the death of his best friend. Jason was finding it difficult to live with that decision.

Meanwhile, a few years later, a mining operation on a remote planet named Orion V, caused quite a stir. They had found something in a deep shaft that was totally unexpected. Captain Nicolas Marquez, commanding the CDFS Vanguard, was quickly ordered to cut short his usual post-mission recovery period and to immediately proceed to Orion V with a special passenger and cargo. To Captain Marquez’s displeasure, he wasn’t allowed to know what the cargo specifically was. He did find out that the passenger just happened to be his ex-wife which wasn’t something he wanted to deal with on a long voyage.

Ok, I’m not going to re-write the whole (short) book here so let’s just say there are a lot of things going on right off the bat. While humans have greatly explored the universe around the Solar System, they have never come across any evidence of alien intelligence. That may have just changed.

Again, this is a great start to a new series, but I personally don’t like such short books. I believe the author plans to release several more short “novellas” continuing the story, but if you have to pay for each one, then I think you’re NOT getting your money’s worth when one lengthy book at one set price would be more worth the money. This book is priced at $2.99 which is the same price for books much, much longer, so be aware of what you’re paying for: a good, but a very short novella.