My iPad is a fun way to read books, and I like the Kindle app better than iBooks. In part, that is due to the wider selection of titles, but it is also the actual reading experience of the Kindle that I enjoy. After I read a few books by Amazon published author D. A. Boulter, I sought another science fiction author who is not published by a “big” publisher. I began a series by Thomas DePrima, which begins with A Galaxy Unknown. This book has many reviews on Amazon, and the sheer number of reviews, along with the description, led me to purchase it.
DePrima’s novel is far from original, but that is not necessarily a criticism. There are only so many plot devices, and space operas have certain limitations. Actually, I liked the blend of action and description. Other reviewers seemed to find the dialogue more annoying than I did, but the author’s insistence on using specific height when introducing his fairly large cast of characters is quite annoying. Other descriptors, such as eye color, hair color, skin tone, and whether or not the character likes “fries with that” would be welcome. I read four books in the series, and the author never stops using height as his favorite method of description. Far worse, the author insists on retelling the story every time the characters do. Without all the repetition, A Galaxy Unknown would probably be a tight 100,000 word read.
Still, the main character has her charms. Yes, the heroine is a bit like Honor Harrington, but even at the outset of David Weber’s series, Honor is taking her first command, whereas Jenetta Carver is a lowly ensign when the first novel begins. Of course, Jenetta is not going to remain lowly for long, and the breakneck pace of this first story is refreshing, if one judges space opera by Weber’s lengthy and increasingly action-starved yarns.
As I read the second, third, and fourth books in the series, I became less enchanted with DePrima’s space opera. Jenetta Carver is a fabulous heroine; and her permanent youthful looks and ever changing DNA, along with plenty of villains to defeat, keep her from being boring. I desperately wanted to like the sequels, because I did enjoy the first entry in the series, but the second volume just has too many admirals heaping too much admiration upon her. Yes, I know one must suspend disbelief to enjoy a good space opera. I have no problem with that, but Jenetta is too apt to be worshiped by her superiors as by her subordinates. I can only stand a page or too of hero worship at a time, especially when it is by older guys who should be both arrogant and curmudgeonly.