This is kind of a spin-off from the Ark Royal series since the original Ark Royal starship was destroyed in book 3. So another ship has been found to kind of take it’s place. The HMS Warspite isn’t a terribly large ship, but it is fast due to some unconventional equipment. This is almost an experimental ship merging human and Tadpole technology and even then boosting that with three fusion reactors. It is fast, very fast, but not extremely tough. The Warspite hasn’t even had a thorough shake-down cruise, but it’s got its first mission already.
On to the Captain. His name is John Naiser and he’s definitely a veteran of the First Interstellar War. That war has just ended and things in the galaxy seem to have calmed down considerably. While most of the Earth nations did their share in fighting the Tadpoles, the loses suffered by each was different. Whereas Russia lost a great deal of their original spacefaring fleet, Great Britain was able to build newer ships and get them back into service fairly quickly. Now they had to defend what was Britains by sending ships like to Warspite to check on British colonies that hadn’t been contacted in a long time. The Warspite was built to get through the tramlines quickly and find out what was going on out there in space.
So, Captain Naiser assumes command of the Warspite and has to check out his new starship while underway on its first every real voyage. He’s been assured by his Chief Engineer that the ship should perform satisfactorily, but with all the hodgepodge of tech crammed into it, he just doesn’t know for sure. Not a comforting situation. Then there’s Commander Juliet Watson, his XO, and his first major command problem. I won’t go into details here, just say that she’s a genius with all the baggage that comes with them.
So, off the Warspite goes hoping against hope that the new engines and other things don’t blow up some where out in deep space. If the ship can become combat capable, then it will be a starship to be reckoned with once the crew is also trained. Captain Naiser has his hands full, but seems to be very competent.
I did like the story, but I didn’t like the background stuff about Captain Naiser. There’s shaded references to a previous “close male friend and pilot” which is absolutely unnecessary to the story. I don’t particularly care for this kind of background revelation and I don’t see any need for it. This is my review and that’s how I feel. It is Mr. Nuttall’s book and that’s how he wrote it, but I just might not be reading any more of this series. I don’t know right now.
I hope you do like it. There are two more books in this Warspite series, “A Savage War of Peace [(Warspite II) (Ark Royal Book 5}], and “A Small Colonial War (Warspite III) (Ark Royal Book 6). Christopher G. Nuttall is a good author and I have read and enjoyed many of his books.