Friday, January 22, 2016

Outward Frontier by Dana Epperson

Outward Frontier

Date Published:
Print Length: 261 pages
Kindle: 1416 KB
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Complimentary review copy

Available on Amazon

Hostile Aliens Threaten Mankind's Future Expansion

This is an enthusiastic first novel. Set in 2176, humans have invented faster than light travel called the Ripple Drive and have colonized planets in far space known as the Outward Frontier. I liked how the author lays out the timeline at the start of the book.

At the open of the book, in the prologue, humans encounter aliens for the first time in the worst way possible - aliens invade a planet on the Outward Frontier. The planetary guard put up a valiant defense but are ruthlessly slaughtered.

The next three parts of the book are individual stories of three characters dealing with the hostile aliens, called the Mo Tian. The first is a green Lieutenant on his first combat mission. The writer's familiarity with the military shows well here. The next two characters are civilians - one is a rich pirateer who observes the aftermath of a massacre, third is a colonist on New Auckland who survives a Mo Tian attack. The three storylines converge on Earth, where the race to resist the Mo Tian and solve the mystery of their origin comes together.

I thought the premise of Outward Frontier was interesting, and the world-building was detailed and extensive. I could tell that the author had fun writing this. That said, the book has some first-novel flaws. First is that it needs tightening up - I felt that there was too much info-dump happening, so there was a lot of stuff I was just skimming. I also did not like the author's choice to use first person for two different characters in parts 1 & 2. There is clearly meant to be a sequel, and those would be my suggestions to the writer: ditch all first person points of view, and cut cut cut a lot from the draft. Just like with movies, you have to leave your darlings on the cutting room floor.

Outward Frontier is available on Kindle at Amazon.

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