Admiral

Sean Danker. Roc, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-451-47579-4
Danker’s debut tries to be hard SF, but is too shallow and thin to make much of an impression. A team of strangers wake from sleep storage to find their spaceship at a standstill and abandoned by the crew. The three newly graduated cadets and someone who may or may not be an admiral must put aside their suspicions of one another and work together to survive. Danker stocks his book with characters who never develop, places them in peril that never quite strikes, and lowers stakes even when he’s trying to raise tension. The nameless protagonist is saddled with a mysterious past, a drug addiction that barely affects the story, and a series of crises that never reach a critical stage. The antagonists are intended to be terrifying, but are as undeveloped as the rest of the characters. The action proceeds at a fair pace and is easy to follow, but there are too many clichés and conveniences to create a solid arc. The lack of definition and narrow imagination leave the writing flat and unremarkable. For a first effort, the workmanlike quality shows skill, but there is little to differentiate it from other novels in the genre. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/29/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Compact Disc - 978-0-399-56715-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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