Jacob Holo’s novel about two brothers on opposite sides of an upcoming war thrilled me with its action and adventure. Its always a gamble when you jump into the self published world, as you can never be sure of what exactly you are going to get. I’m glad I read this book though, as it was superb from start to finish.
Set in a future where mankind has colonised our solar system, with each planet or moon developing its own culture and ecosystem, the action centres on two brothers, one on the side of Eurpoa, one on the side of Earth.
With a war in the none too distant past due to the emergence of AI, things are still heated between the factions as Europa houses the last self aware AI called Matriarch, which Earth wishes to destroy. To that end (and because this is the military sci-fi genre), each faction has developed its own methods of war- the high tech Dragons from Eurpoa are few in number, but can pass all but invisible amongst the enemy. In contrast are Earth’s Crusaders, far more numerous but lower tech, relying on brute force. As the war heats up, it seems someone is manipulating everything behind the scenes…
What first gripped me about the book (and I’m aware this is an odd thing) was just how in amongst the action, everything we well thought out. A lot of time had obviously spent thinking how the various bits of technology would work and the geography ad culture of the areas that characters live, breathe and (eventually) fight in. Its so refreshing, as I’ve read too many books that are so eager to get the action scenes that everything flies out of the window when it does.
Along with that, I found myself really enjoying the additional bits and pieces in the book that helped flesh out the characters and the universe they lived it. Perfectly paced, with even the planetary war the end of the book feeling appropriately large scale, whilst flittering back and forth between the each brothers view point.
If theres one drawback I could make (which perhaps is slightly ironic considering that the main characters have trouble relating to people) is how sometimes the dialogue between the characters outside of battle can feel a bit stilted. With the Crusaders this is fine, as they are a martial order, so a certain level of command structure and stiffness is par for the course. But for the Dragons, who are presented as best buddies with long time relationships, its felt a bit forced at times.
Still, its a minor bugbear of what is an otherwise brilliant book. I’ve regretted, due to circumstances beyond my control, leaving it unread on my Kindle for so long- once I got reading I finished it in a day, then read it again!
Definitely one of the best books I read in 2013, this gets a Must Read.
Dragons of Jupiter is available now here. For a short time, its available for only 99 cents, so theres no reason not to buy it!