The Star Protocol, by the Marett Brothers: #BookReview.

318 pages

Science Fiction Adventure/Military Science Fiction

As flagged by the sub-genres in which this book is listed, it’s a science fiction tale full of action, much of which is military in tone. But it’s also a lot more than that.

The story combines ancient history, via an archaeologist and his daughter, with the idea of an Earth seeded by aliens, the technologies, philosophies and moralities of advanced AI based civilisations, and the role of government and the intelligence services in maintaining public safety.

I won’t attempt to summarise the story, which is complex, fast-paced, engaging, and full of surprises and some clichés. This is space opera at its finest in many senses, but the nature and clever creation of its protagonists and antagonists takes it up to a different, and for me better, level. It’s easy to empathise with a number of the characters driving this story; as a reader I really do have to care what happens to the players in a story. In this one, there are a number I felt concerned about. That concern drove me through the long passages of often complex and sometimes slightly confusing action, to discover the outcomes for them. I’d let you know how that panned out if it wasn’t for the fact it might spoil your reading of the book.

Initial shifts of time threw me at first, but I quickly realised what was happening and found the technique effective. There are a few minor editing issues (that appears to be the case with all books nowadays) but none of these took me away from the story.

The advanced technology is so far into the future that it’s difficult to argue against it; as long as such tech is plausible, it’s fine with me. In this book it is.

This is a great story that can be read on the basic level of a space adventure thriller, but it’s also thought-provoking in its analogies and some of its veiled themes.

I enjoyed the book, which I happily recommend for all lovers of the wider genre.

[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can manage is an honest reaction to any given book.]