Warship: Black Fleet Trilogy 1 by Joshua Dalzelle
Warship: Black Fleet Trilogy 1 – In the 25th century humans have conquered space. The advent of faster-than-light travel has opened up hundreds of habitable planets for colonization, and humans have exploited the virtually limitless space and resources for hundreds of years with impunity.
So complacent have they become with the overabundance that armed conflict is a thing of the past, and their machines of war are obsolete and decrepit. What would happen if they were suddenly threatened by a terrifying new enemy? Would humanity fold and surrender, or would they return to their evolutionary roots and meet force with force? One ship—and one captain—will soon be faced with this very choice.
Against incredible odds, Jackson Wolfe is determined to save humanity–and in the process, might end up saving himself.
Review By Amazon Customer on January 5, 2015
Humanity has moved to the stars. War, famine, and even political infighting have become bywords of an age when humanity was stuck on one heavenly sphere. Earth is no longer the center of the human universe instead humanity has separated into coalitions of worlds that have racial and historic ties to one another. The Fleet is the organization consolidating our species remaining military power. It has been separated into fleets controlled and supplied by the factions with various political and historic ties but a duty for the safety of the human race as a whole. Their Central Command (CENTCOM) is based on Haven the planet settled after Earth and its where technological and political power has been concentrated.
Captain Jackson Wolfe has battled the prejudice of his Earth heritage his entire carrier. His uphill battle has seen him in command of the Blue Jacket a destroyer and technically one of humanity’s strongest warships, the only problem is that its decades out of date and part of the partially decommissioned Seventh Fleet. The “Black Fleet” is all that remains of this once united core service that patrols the space-lanes of humanity and has become the dumping ground for the disorderly, incompetent, and disaffected. His decades of service have only enabled him to see just how hard his superior is working to strip him from the ranks.
His latest cruise has barely begun and a new executive officer hand picked by the admiral that despises him has been assigned. A Senator’s obnoxious aid was added to his roster and the admiral has cut orders forcing him to disembark. All this before he can even inspect the ship after being in the dockyard getting the systems updated. He has always found a way despite the prejudice of his fellow spaceman and the actions of his fellow officers undermining his authority. Despite all this he takes pride in his “warship” and is determined to do the best he can but the scales are no longer even slightly in balance. He can feel the pressure being brought against him but Captain Wolfe must find a way to keep his crew in check and his ship able to meet its obligations because humanity hasn’t changed and the Black Fleet may be all that can can hold the line and keep the species together.
Mr. Dalzelle has proven that he can not only write entertaining fiction but his characters shine in a darker settings. I would say that until about 20% into the story I still hadn’t connected with the characters. My biggest issue was that during the slower portions of the novel the transition between perspectives and scenes could be abrupt and the poor scene phasing doesn’t allow the multiple perspectives too mesh into a cohesive narrative.
Overall, the story is a new and welcome addition to the space-opera genre and shows Mr. Dalzelle’s imagination going strong. The book is solid and entertaining but it lacks that special “twist” that sets it apart from others in the genre. However the background for his universe is sprinkled through the novel; leaving the history and details vague enough that future books may well correct this imbalance. It feels we only have a glimpse of everything this series has to offer. In many ways this book focuses on the characters and is simply setting the stage for the series.
Many aspects of Warship remind me of the first Honor Harrington novel by David Weber. We are given a strong lead character, multiple strong supporting characters, and the glimpse of a larger galactic society; all of this set on a single military vessel that is outclassed. The info says this is the start of the Black Fleet trilogy but it might just be the start of the next big space-opera.