Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: The Oncoming Storm

Book Cover: The Oncoming Storm by Christopher Nuttall
Published 15 September 2015 by 47 North
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

In the year 2420, war looms between the galaxy’s two most powerful empires: the tyrannical Theocracy and the protectionist Commonwealth. Caught in the middle sits the occupied outpost system Cadiz, where young officer and aristocrat Katherine “Kat” Falcone finds herself prematurely promoted at the behest of her powerful father. Against her own wishes, Kat is sent to command the Commonwealth navy’s newest warship, Lightning.

Determined to prove she has value beyond her family name, Kat struggles to earn her crew’s respect and find her footing as the youngest captain in naval history. She soon discovers the situation on Cadiz is even worse than anyone in power anticipated. War isn’t just a possibility—it is imminent. Yet the admiral in position to bolster defenses refuses to prepare for a fight. Can Kat find a way to investigate the enemy, alert the Commonwealth, and whip an entire fleet into fighting shape before the Theocracy’s war machine destroys everything she holds dear?

My Thoughts

Kat Falcone has been made captain of the Commonwealth Navy’s newest warship, Lightning. She knows she doesn't have enough experience to be in command, and that her appointment was secured by her very rich and influential father. In fact, Kat entered the Navy to try and avoid the stigma of her wealthy family, but it keeps following her. Now she must work hard to prove that she's capable of performing the job.

Lightning's first mission is a posting to Cadiz, a planet near the border between the Commonwealth and the tyrannical Theocracy. Kat's mission is to assist the 7th fleet with the defense of Cadiz, protect commercial shipping from pirates, and determine just how volatile the situation is between the Theocracy and the Commonwealth. The people of Cadiz were forcibly brought into the Commonwealth and resent the presence of Commonwealth troops on their planet. But Kat's government knew that they couldn't allow the Theocracy to gain a foothold within Commonwealth space. With the threat of war growing every day and insurgents trying to push the Commonwealth forces off their planet, Kat has a very difficult job to discover what's been happening on Cadiz.

As I anticipated, I found The Oncoming Storm an excellent book. I'm a fan of military science fiction, and particularly those series which feature a strong female lead. Christopher Nuttall certainly offers this in the inaugural novel of his Angel in the Whirlwind series. The one flaw that kept me from giving this five stars is that the book had no clear conclusion. Rather, it drifted along to a “to be continued” ending.

I would recommend this to those who like military science fiction. It compares favorably with the Honor Harrington and Kris Longknife series. Nuttall paints the the two powers in conflict—Commonwealth and Theocracy—with a rather broad brush. While the Commonwealth has been shown to do the occasional bad thing (as with the annexation of Cadiz), I didn't see much to like in the Theocracy. Surely there are a couple of people with morals somewhere. I definitely look forward to the next installment, and I'm hoping to see a more development of the cultures of both Theocracy and Commonwealth.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Oncoming Storm from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which the BookObsessed online community will receive a few cents if you make purchases.

No comments:

Post a Comment