Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: "The Far Stars" trilogy by Jay Allan

I saw a review on io9 recommending a space opera series by Jay Allan. The series consists of three books: Enemy in the Dark, Shadow of Empire, and Funeral Games.

Starving for reading material amidst the shit-storm that has been the first three months of 2016, I rolled the dice and got all three books from Amazon.

Good lord.

So the review (linked above) does this series justice. The hero's name is "Arkarin Blackhawk". In the first chapter, he's wearing a loincloth on an alien planet and fighting a guy in a dinosaur. Blackhawk, a genetically-engineered superman who - the author will repeatedly tell you - is haunted by a dark past. Blackhawk is pretty much what you'd get if you took Doc Savage, Han Solo, and Aragorn, then put them in a blender and poured the result into a spaceship.

Blackhawk's crew are all similar cliches: the loud-mouthed second-in-command, the beautiful assassin, the lumbering ass-kickers, the hyper-skilled mechanic, the hyper-skilled pilot, etc. etc.

These misfits are united only in their love for Blackhawk and vice-versa as they blow up everything and everyone they come across. Blackhawk has a love interest in the form of Astra Lucerne, who is beautiful, spunky, stubborn, blah-blah-blah and loves Blackhawk despite his terrible darkness.

Seriously. This is repeated nearly every chapter in all three books.

So, I'm snarking on this series a bit, but I have to say it's a fun read. It's classic, trashy pulp story with evil, scheming villains, an evil empire, and tropes galore. Jay Allan does a great job writing up cheese while making it engaging and fun.

It's been a welcome distraction on BART and good, clean fun.

If you're looking for a "Battlestar Galactica"-meets-Star Wars story, I'd suggest giving the series a try.

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