The Glory of the Empress

Sean Danker. Ace, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-58708-5
Danker’s battle-heavy but lukewarm third Evagardian space adventure is an episodic prequel to Admiral set during the galactic war between the Evagardian Empire, headed by an enigmatic empress, and the Ganraen Commonwealth. A ragtag crew of 12 Evagardian misfits is charged with engaging pirates to battle-test the new Everwing fighter planes, which use the Harbinger parasite to sync pilot and ship. Their real task is to retrieve a sniveling defector, Cophony, from the Perdita battle station, but they’re sidetracked by the appearance of a derelict ship filled with refugees. Sacrificing character development for nonstop action, Danker lets only a few characters blossom: secretive, competent Oen Bjorn, who insists he’s just an analyst; diminutive, fast-talking Commander Mao, in her first command; and aloof aristocrat Diana Kladinova, an ace fighter pilot. Nice touches such as the diverse cast, matriarchal society, and urgent mission don’t redeem abandoned plot threads and a preponderance of dialogue. Lovers of catch-your-breath action who think of character development and thoughtful reflection as superfluous will enjoy the space battles and military setting. Agent: Mary C. Moore, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (May)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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