Rating:

4 Small Stars
Excelsior

This story is pretty far fetched with a lot of intrigue. You really don’t know who the good guys are until maybe the very end, and then I’m not so sure. I do know that Captain Alexander de Leon, the main character, serves the Alliance Navy which seems to be a pretty crappy organization. He’s serving in order to improve the life of his wife, Caty (sic), and himself.

Their society is divided by the wealthy and the poor. Those wealthy are born genetically enhanced with immortality. They live up North while the normal, natural born, with no genetic enhancements live in the South. Not a real good way to run a country which should seem obvious to anyone. Still, that’s they way it is. You can move to the North and get genetic enhancements if you can pay the enormous sums required to do so. There is also another way to get genetic treatments and that is by service in the Alliance military. Captain Alexander de Leon has chosen that method and is now serves a ten year term in order to provide genetic enhancements for himself and his wife Caty. They have moved up North or at least to Los Angles which seems to be a “Gener” city.

Unfortunately, he’s been assigned to a very long space mission. This one is highly classified and even he doesn’t know the extent of the mission, although they do know they could be gone for years! Yet, he and his crew are dutifully saying their goodbyes to family and friends. Caty is definitely against him leaving. She cannot believe that he has to go away so long. I can somewhat understand her feelings having left my wife for a few military tours, but she and Captain de Leon have become immortal, so what does it matter how long they may be separated when they have all eternity to be together?

Anyway, Captain de Leon leaves his wife and heads out on his mission. Then he finds out that he didn’t know anything at all about what he was getting into. He has bee assigned to Operation Alice mission which means he and his ship will be flying through a stable wormhole called the “Looking Glass” to a new planet called Wonderland. It is hoped that this new planet can be colonized by the Alliance alleviating the overcrowding on Earth, the Moon, Mars, and other colonies throughout the Solar System. This wormhole is of unknown origin and so far, they haven’t much information about the planet on the other side. For some reason, all the unmanned probes don’t come back. That right there would cause me to wonder about why they are sending in a manned spacecraft.

Ok, so Captain de Leon and his crew aboard the W. A. S. Lincoln ready to do their duty. He’s contacted by his Admiral who then fills him in on his mission. It turns out that the trip through the wormhole will take about 70 days of which most will be done in the G-tanks in suspension so they can survive the extreme G-forces during the trip. But, things are not as they seem!

It is also pointed out that traveling through a wormhole at the speeds they will attain will cause a time dilatation between them and Earth. For the 70 days they were in the tanks, 420 days elapsed on Earth (or 2 month 10 day versus 1 year, 1 month, and 25 days). It will take they at least two year or more to get back to Earth.

They also learned that the Confederation wants the “Looking Glass”. So much so, that they have started a war to get it. The Lincoln just barely made it through the wormhole entrance when the Alliance and Confederate fleets were firing missiles at each other. The last communications through the wormhole with the Admiral indicated that WWIII had broken out on Earth and several major cities were in nuclear ruin. It was imperative that Captain de Leon find Wonderland a habitable planet, else humanity might be near it’s end.

Ok, so that is part of the story. The other part involves his wife and what happens to her while he is gone. Now, this part i do not understand. She is the wife of a Naval Captain, a significant rank in the Navy. She has become a “Gener” and is living where others like her should live. She escapes to a bomb shelter that her and her husband built beneath their home and comes out of it about 2 months later. No other people appear to have done the same in her neighborhood? So she wonders around to get outside LA and eventually gets rescued by the military, but instead of identifying herself as the dependent wife of a Naval Captain and a new gener, she says she’s a natural born. So they just dump her off at the nearest work camp and she’s on her own. That doesn’t sound right. She has a terrible time over the next two years. That part of the book is kind of ridiculous. If there’s anyone group of people that should be cared for, it’s the dependents of those fighting for your country. I don’t like this part of the story.

I have read many other books by this writer. His other books are all quite good, but this book has a lot of editorial mistakes. There are small words just missing every now and then that distract from a smooth reading. There are also a lot of wholes in this approach to the war. Some crazy Admiral takes it upon himself to attack an emery that has surrendered. I think that’s very unlikely. I am glad the author left the story-line open to a sequel. It will be an interesting read.