Series: The Falcon Banner Cycle, 01
Author: Christopher P. Lydon
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Super Novel (473pgs)
Publisher: Lulu (4th November 2011)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts
Blurb: A lone man picks up a battle standard cast down three hundred years before, beginning a journey that will lead him to find the lost fleet, and a forgotten ship at the edge of nowhere. Darien Taine must accept his role, guiding his crew on the long road to free their people from Amsus tyranny. Uncovering along the way the sins that led to humanity’s downfall, and re-forging alliances long thought forgotten. Three hundred years of slavery, of persecution and of tyranny are at an end.
Review: Earth no longer belongs to the humans. The Amsus have control in a tight grip and any who breaks one of their laws is sentenced to death. Darien has to flee from Terran (Earth) when he is set up by the Amsus for a murder he didn’t commit, on his journey into space he picks up a motley crew and it begins a journey that leads to the freedom of races and star systems from Amsus control.
Okay. This is a true science fiction story. Of humanity, hundreds of years into the future with advanced technology, alien races and the Amsus’ total control on humanity and its allies. We begin the story with Darien being blamed for a crime that an Amsus has committed; he escapes by the skin of his teeth and desperately leaves the planet trying to stay one-step ahead of the Amsus Inquisitors. On his journey through space to a safe place he picks up a crew, Matt Elias (mainly called just Elias) is the engineer, who can build anything and becomes Darien’s love interest, he meets him on the first station out in space which they barely escape with their lives, they pick up Kendrick on a backwater colony, and then they meet up with Lauren, Nazzien and Shale when they rescue them from pirates. These characters make up the core group, but don’t expect them to be left out of the heartache and betrayal.
We have everything in this story, cover-ups, escapes, explosions, betrayals, firefights, space chases, secrets, amazing battle plans, love, death, and planet and star system jumps, there are also death-defying escapes and rescues and liberating planets. There isn’t anything missing, it is a brilliant science fiction story that comes to life, we get to know the characters pretty well, and we become invested in them, cheering them on as the face insurmountable odds to once again escape from the clutches of the Amsus. This is an incredible well written story, it has great background and world-building and we learn as the story goes on the real reason for the fall of the Empire, and I am so looking forward to the rest of the series, which are sat on my e-reader crying out for me to read them.
I will tell everyone this though; don’t be expecting a huge M/M romance, this book is science fiction first and M/M second, the romance between Darien and Elias was sweet and they do have one beautiful sexual encounter, but the awkward romance is drawn out, it is a very small part of what is happening, and we get flashes of it throughout the book and the poor guys keep getting interrupted.
I am recommending this to those who love science fiction, liberating planets and the human race, with solid characters, a fantastic storyline, betrayal that cuts deep, secrets hidden, incredible technology, huge explosions, sacrifices made and an ending that makes you want to snatch the next book up.