I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Admiral by Sean Danker
Published by ROC on 2016-05-03
Length: 310 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
FIRST IN A NEW MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”
He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.
Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.
I really, really wanted to love Admiral by Sean Danker. I was psyched to read it! I love a good sci-fi thriller and this promised to be just that. Seriously, did you read that blurb?! I was expecting awesomeness. Instead I got a story that while it was good, even could be considered on-the-edge-of-your-seat good, it was also boring. There was a ton of build-up and mystery and then it just ended in this massive info-dump. So yeah….disappointed!
The main character (MC from here out as he never gives a name for himself) has a ton of secrets and as the story is told from his perspective I thought the reader would be included in his secrets. FYI we’re not, but that’s ok. It adds to the suspense of the book and the characters’ situation. MC wakes up after his sleeper malfunctions. The only thing he knows is something is wrong with the ship. It’s on emergency power and the other three passengers that were in the sleepers are also awake. His sleeper only identifies him as an admiral, an honorary title according to MC so from the get-go there is a lot of distrust between him and the other characters. MC is courageous, thinks quickly on his feet, and has a lot of issues (you’ll have to read it to figure them out, no spoilers here).
The other characters are trainees in the Imperial Army, straight from academy. Their fresh-eyed look at the universe they live in irritates MC but he also doesn’t have the heart to disillusion them. He’s a natural leader and even though they don’t trust him, they follow his orders. Nils is perhaps my favorite of the the three. He’s an Ensign, aka the manual labor, mechanic, whatever you want to call him. I kept picturing Scotty from Star Trek: “She cannot take anymore Captain.”
So as the blurb suggests, the crew find themselves stuck on an alien planet with no way off, air running out, and dwindling supplies. Add to this the planet is also literally falling apart and you now have the setting of our story. The MC and the other three need to find away to signal the Imperial Army so they can be found OR they need to find another means off the planet and quick. The book read like a good episode of Star Trek crossed with a dose of Star Wars. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact this is what caught my interest. However the world-building outside of the characters’ situation was little to nonexistent. I felt like I knew nothing about the Imperial Army, why they were at war, why there is now a cease-fire, and who the heck MC really is.
Overall the book was just okay. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for some big reveal or something terrible to happen and when it does (not if because we all know from that blurb it’s a when) I was underwhelmed. There was a ton of info dump squeezed into one quick chapter and then it was over. I was left feeling cheated after such a suspenseful read. Who is MC really? What was up with that planet? And what is going to happen with the Empress and Imperial Army? Despite the ending, I do want to read more from this world and plan to do just that! If you’re a fan of space opera, science fiction, and military fiction, you will enjoy this book!