4 Small Stars
Rogue Shepherd

The story-line was OK. The writing, not so much. This book needs a lot of editing. I don’t believe this is a final copy or at least I hope it’s not because someone is going to get some very bad feedback if this has been through an editor. There are missing words and badly worded sentences all through the book. It really broke my concentration on the story several times because I had to re-read sentences in order to understand what the author intended to say. I really don’t like reading that kind of book.

Also, the authors fondness of sailing ships doesn’t fit well with a story about outer space and starships. He tries to treat his spaceships/starships as thought they were sailing ships when they come down to a planet. Starships in port don’t tie up to a dock and certainly aren’t tied down with ropes. You don’t cast off from a spaceship berth like a sailing ship, that’s just dumb! I can’t understand what kind of ships he’s created because they have some kind of sails that allow these ships to fly through hyperspace at 40 times the speed of light! I think that’s kind of ridiculous. You can have solar sails that will collect solar winds and propel a vessel at considerable speeds, but not anywhere near the speed of light. He also has his main character, a young man who is the youngest of three Sons, manning a small ship, the Hornet’s Nest, yet that ship has crew berthing for 20 men. Why isn’t there more men aboard if the ship and the supplies it carries are essential to their final destination.

I personally don’t like the heavy dose of someone else’s religion stuck in a military science fiction book. You’ll get that a lot in this book. While their god is called “El-Gibhor”, it’s really a High Priest that runs things. High Priest Somhairle shows up just enough to give some kind of mystical taint to his existence. He’s even got The General bowing to him. He’s just a Priest for goodness sake. And then we have the idea that a King of Twelve Tribes would change his title to General just to show that he’s in the fight. What’s wrong with a King fighting for his own kingdom? It makes you wonder if the other leaders of the Twelve Clans are Generals too or are they something else? In a Kingdom, there is only one King, but there can be many Generals so why would a King change his title to General? Doesn’t make sense.

There is a war going on and young Luke Shepherd (no, not Luke Skywalker!) is sent to pick up supplies at a base far to the rear of the front lines. He doesn’t like doing theses boring supply runs, but as the youngest Son, he must do as his Father has ordered and deliver supplies to the front, by himself in a very tiny ship. Of course things don’t go as smoothly on this trip as they have in the past. Soon, this young man’s fortune is about to abruptly change. How it all ends is still a mystery because the book didn’t seem to finish. If this is a series, then the second book had better come out soon and be well edited or this read will find something a lot better to read.