Aurora: Darwin
Amanda Bridgeman

A distress signal on the edge of inhabited space. A mission that is far outside normal parameters. Two very different people with one common goal survival.

When a distress signal is received from a black-ops space station on the edge of inhabited space, Captain Saul Harris of the UNF Aurora is called in from leave to respond. But the mission is not what it seems. Female members of the United National Forces have not been allowed to travel into the outer zones before, but Harris is ordered to take three new female recruits.

For Corporal Carrie Welles, one of the Aurora‘s new recruits, her first mission in space seems like a dream come true. Determined to achieve the success of her father before her, and suddenly thrust into a terrifying mission, she must work with her new captain and the strained Aurora crew to make it home alive.

When the Aurora arrives at the station Harris and Welles soon find themselves caught up in a desperate fight for survival. Station Darwin is not what they expected. The lights are off. But somebody is home.

Aurora: Darwin book cover

This sounded good, from the synopsis, and I’m not saying it wouldn’t suit some people. For my own taste, 227 uses of the word fuck is a real off-putter, especially when the prospect of a single cigarette causes genuine consternation among the characters. The machismo was worryingly flat, characterisation bland, the plot slow and the UNF organisation seems silly, ineffectual and disturbingly reckless.

Space seemed to be incidental to the whole story; which I understand in a not wanting to focus on the SF angle kind of a way. However, there was no description of any technology, simply a reliance on “high-pitched beeps” and “whooshing” noises. Everything seemed a bit slapdash as well; the captain just seemed to decide to have a training exercise, was a nice guy and a complete asshole the next minute because of orders he received, but then proceeded to pretty much shaft his crew in the same way by handing out his own inexplicable orders. There were three female officers, but it was evident only one was of real interest and the rest were just padding. This book tried for several angles; military sci-fi, a bit of spaceship stuff, a little space operatic romance with a small court martial drama added in. It succeeded in a very vague, limp way at all of these, but so pitifully as to not be worth reading it for any of those aspects on their own.
To sum, disappointing. Not my sort of thing.

Published by Sean Randall

I am an avid reader, technologist and disability advocate living in the middle of England with my wife, daughter and pets.

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