A former naval starfighter pilot, Maarkean Ocaitchi once fought to protect the Alliance and its principles of freedom and democracy, but his sister's rebellious past forced them both into a life of smuggling. He nevertheless refuses to believe her assertions that the whole system is corrupt...until she is arrested and condemned to death as a traitor.
Now, Maarkean must decide where his loyalty lies, and will either spark a rebellion or help crush the spirit of democracy once and for all. The experience will challenge everything he thinks he knows about resistance, loyalty, and friendship.
Written in the spirit of heroic space adventure, Aristeia: Revolutionary Right is the first book in a series by new author Wayne Basta.
©2011 Wayne Basta (P)2013 Wayne Basta
SCI-FI seems to come in three basic kinds. The Classic, mainly fun with ideas and concepts. The MILITARY kind focusing on characters and plot, scope HUGE (fate of the universe). To me, a third kind focuses on characters and plot but the scope is not so huge; easier to identify with as few people are actually world leaders, generals, etc. I like all 3 kinds. But that last kind seems hard to find. Anywaaay, Aristeia is the third kind.
Setting: a sector of maybe 5-10 planet colonies and species. Hyperspace travel between them takes days to months. We learn there was a war, then the Terrans (humans) entered it and they all became part of the Terran Alliance. Claims to be like a individual liberty constitutional republic (well, democracy is incorrectly used, as in the real world). But, well, not so much actually in this sector. Much like being a colony of Brittan a century ago and earlier. Each planet has a Gov appointed, complaints of govt abuse tend to be categorized as subversion or treason.
Plot and characters: A war vet's way younger sister was arrested in a college govt protest. He gets here and they jump bail before still larger charges are assessed. So they live on his ship and are smugglers. The story begins from here. Some other characters try to swipe their ship. The sister and some of the ship thieves end up in prison. Plans for a prison break are brewed, etc. That's in about the first third of the book. Great plot that seems to be building in scope but not too fast.
We get the story from the various characters viewpoint. We get who they are, personality, their thinking, but are not made into a psychoanalyst for them. Also no ism reinforcing junk, no graphic sex. No stupid characters (pet peeve) but diff assessments of the situation that make sense given the character's experience. Some, like Ben Franklin, think Alliance can be persuaded to live up to their creed, others think revolution needed.
Since I had read a hardcover copy of the book, it was fascinating to hear the pronunciation of the names within this incredible world the way the author had intended. I'm quite enamored of Wayne Basta's universe because it is all-consuming and escapist, just like I think Science Fiction should be. The concept and execution of the prison break was brilliant, as are Wayne's large scaled world and its diverse inhabitants and their varying degrees of technology. I've already read and enjoyed book two, A little Rebellion, and have the third book in my TBR list.
Narrator Chris Andrew Ciulla throws off the enjoyment of this book. He'll read a few sentences fine, then suddenly DECIDE that EVERY two or three WORDS in A sentence need to be STRESSED to MAKE the reading MORE DRAMATIC.
Listen to the sample and you'll probably see what I mean. When Ciulla does this, the sentence becomes very difficult to understand. The odd sentence stress destroys the flow and loses the meaning. Instead of staying immersed in the story, Ciulla's narration pulls attention back out.
Not recommended, based on the narrator.
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