Ciaran Richards’ father was a soldier. A hero.
But now he’s dead. Or is he?
Most assuredly a novel many science fictions fans will want to add to their must-read list, Firing Of The Crucible proves an original and ambitious debut with much promise, especially with Shaffer's intriguing first contact premise. Placing his protagonist in the most desperate of survival situations this isn’t one of those originality-challenged Space Warfare novels that seem to plague the Sci-Fi genre. And as with many Science Fiction epics, it's the journey that matters more than the destination. Yes, the familiar genre tropes are evident but he never allows them to spiral into unearned sentiment as he creates an entirely believable Armageddon scenario that drives Roh Ceeda and her interplanetary crew to Terra. There’s little doubt that this is a Space Opera series in the making and Shaffer does well to cover so much ground in a relatively constrained page count. There’s a lot to take in but it’s a nod to his narrative skills that he slips between perspectives without losing the thread of his plot or adding unwarranted levels of complexity whilst ensuring that his main characters are both well nuanced and relatable. To do this he adds a moral conundrum which not only maintains suspense but sets his readers up for a cliff-hanging climax that will leave them eager for more military science fiction encounters in his Phoenix Empire series.
Original and compelling fiction and the start of an exciting Military Sci-Fi book series, Firing Of The Crucible is strongly recommended!
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