The Lost Starship is essentially about a bunch of misfits banding together on a mission to retrieve an alien spacecraft that actively defends itself using unknown technologies. Once they learn how to use it they need to pilot it back to save the Earth from invasion by a super- human race of beings. Throughout all of this, they are being chased by the enemy.
After reading this book I read some reviews and I have to say there is some conflict between what I have read and my own experience. Or maybe its the way Amazon orders them. Either way, I will proceed with my own review and you can let me know if you agree or disagree!
The book started by plunging you into a fist fight between the apparently superbly muscled Captain Maddox versus some other character with augmentations. After that was over the story continues in a familiar fashion with the idea of a bunch of misfits getting together to overcome various obstacles. Most readers are used to it but it does lend itself to abuse as it is an easy method for creating sometimes predictable inter-character conflict between protagonists. However, in this case, it was executed well in terms of telling a story and developing some relationships but not all. The main protagonist had to gather the others from various stations and that in itself took a large part of the story. The only downside was that it didn’t leave a lot of room for the rest of the story to develop, it seemed to end with a bit of a fizzle… and the other thing that I would mention is that using a Scottish character with a drinking problem is about as hackneyed as you can get. On saying all of that, the Doctor and Meta characters had complex shifts in stance and this kept you guessing all the way through, I grew to like the Meta character very much until Captain Maddox became some sort of throwback to a bygone age.
As mentioned, most of the story revolved around the quest to gather the crew together. These were not the only people, of course, the enemy was a race of super-humans but sadly we didn’t learn a lot about them and I felt that there could have been more development between the main protagonist and antagonist to expand on that. I felt there were some inconsistencies in the Captain Maddox character, on the one hand, he was extremely passionate about completing the mission and in one or two scenes he inexplicably didn’t seem to have any drive or passion at all.
There were bits that were unexplained but I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll leave this here. If you have a conflict such as something not working, I don’t think it’s a good idea to suddenly exclaim, “Tada, it’s working!” Try to explain how it engages the reader and makes them feel less cheated.If you can’t explain it, you need to rethink if you really need to have it in your story.
But hang on, while that’s all the technical stuff, did I actually like it? I did. And that’s the conflict I have. The story did keep me entertained, it was a great romp through space and we did get a fascinating insight into long range inter-ship battles. There could have been more of that, though, more space, more science and more meaningful character interactions and development.
Thank you for reading this review.
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