“First Flight: Federal Space Book 1” by Zachary Jones

If you like hard Sci-Fi, this book is for you. It starts with a highly detailed description of a space battle — which Earth forces lose — and the action builds from there. It seems Earth and its allies are in the middle of a protracted war against former space colonies when both are attacked by a third force. The main character, Mason Grey, is a fighter pilot who survives one of the initial disastrous battles of the new war, and his fate takes several interesting jumps, placing him in the midst of the action. 

The strength of this story is the world building. The futuristic society is outlined beautifully. Humans have combined with their tech in so many ways that nobody is just plain human anymore, which gives Mr. Jones even more opportunity to indulge his penchant for technical creativity. 

There are relatively few characters in the story, so we get a chance to know them well, which is a blessing. The main character starts out as a rather familiar type — the former commercial ore hauler pilot who fought his way through the Space Academy to become a Space Force flyboy. But Mason soon attracts enough of our sympathy to add a personal touch to the conflict. The natural, relaxed relationship he develops with Lieutenant Jessica Sinclair, the Intelligence officer he teams up with, gives the story a further human touch. 

But the tech is the star of the show, with a clever plot twist arising from the cybernetics abilities of the characters creating a macabre but humorous situation in the middle of a battle. I’ll leave that gem for the reader to discover.

A stock Space Opera with the science on steroids, and a fun read for sure.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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