, , , ,

About Free Space

In the follow-up to Admiral, the intergalactic war has ended and hostilities between the Evagardian Empire and the Commonwealth are officially over, but the admiral is far from safe. . . .

“I’d impersonated a prince, temporarily stopped a war, escaped a deadly planet, and survived more assassination attempts than I could conveniently count. After all that, there shouldn’t have been anything simpler than a nice weekend with a charming Evagardian girl.

However, some corners of the galaxy aren’t as genteel as the Empire, and Evagardians aren’t universally loved, which is how I ended up kidnapped to be traded as a commodity.

Their timing couldn’t have been worse. I’m not at my best, but these people have no idea whom they’re dealing with: a highly trained, genetically engineered soldier in the Imperial Service who happens to be my date.”


Review of Free Space

Talk about a disastrous first date.

Salmagard is on a date with the Admiral when this all begins. But lets backtrack just a bit. In the first book in this series (Admiral), Salmagard and the Admiral shared a kiss. Because of what they went through that hellish planet, there is already an intensity to their relationship, even if they don’t know each other well yet. So in Free Space, the possibility of a deeper relationship is explored – just a little – before all hell breaks loose.

Before the date even beings, there is an assassination attempt against the admiral. Poison. So, he is already trying to avoid pursuers and is in a weakened state. Meaning he is going to have to use his brains instead of his muscles. This is not a surprise for this character. He is a thinker.

Then, the date begins with a kidnapping. Salmagard, the Admiral and another couple. Dianna and Sei, are all kidnapped to be turned into slaves. Throughout the ordeal, not only are they trying to escape from multiple captors, there is always the possibility that the Admiral will be found. Why is there someone after the Admiral? The reasons are murky, but that just seems to add interest.

Things go from on a date, to in trouble and then from bad to worse. This constant state of decaying status adds the same type of intensity to the story that I appreciated in Admiral. Each character handles the struggles in their own way, bringing their unique talents to bear when needed.

The Admiral. That is his only identity. Personal details about The Admiral are few and far between. After two books in the series, he is still an enigma. He may seem to be they kind of spy that will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Thankfully, to add interest to the story, Salmagard is a bit of a chink the Admiral’s armor.

Salmagard – lets just say she is more than everyone (except Admiral) thinks she is. She comes from the aristocracy of the Empire, so she is a bit unexpected. Dianna is another interesting character whose existence tells you a bit more about the empire and it’s technology, philosophy and ethics.

Free Space features multiple locations, each with it’s own special atmosphere to appreciate or cringe at. There are multiple human adversaries. Or are some of them on the same side?

The series title changed from Evargardian to Admiral. Now, this makes sense to me. The Admiral is most definitely the central character. And based on your opinion of him, you form opinions of the other characters. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? A lack of detail about the Admiral makes the nature of the other characters a bit ambiguous. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Normally I like a little bit of questionable character in my heroes and villains, but I am a reader that prefers to have those questions resolved eventually. It doesn’t really happen in this book/series.

The ending is quite abrupt. I don’t know if I would call it a cliffhanger, due to several plot lines being resolved, but it is abrupt and doesn’t so much as leave room for speculation as it does demand to know what will happen next. So, yes, I will call it a cliffhanger.

I did like that you have to work to get answers, but even then you may not get them. All the characters have very little history provided in the telling of the story. This is totally contrary to the types of characters I usually like reading about, but in Free Space, it really works.

Free Space is gritty, compelling science fiction, filled with plots, villains, politics, heroics and, oh, so many questions. If you are in the mood for a book that is not all wrapped up in a nice box, Free Space may be the book you are looking for.



Add Admiral or Free Space to your Goodreads shelf:

Purchase Admiral or Free Space:

In case you missed yesterday’s post with an excerpt from Free Space, here is the link.

If you are interested in last year’s review of Admiral go here.  If you would like to read my interview with Sean Danker check it out here.