Dark Tide Trilogy Book 1
by Dayne Edmondson
Paperback, 170 pages
Published December 31st 2016 by Dark Star Publishing
ISBN: 520265298 (ISBN13: 9781520265292)
Emergence is military science fiction. Attacked by a belligerent species known as the Krai’kesh, a group of soldiers, government agents and mages find themselves suddenly fighting for their lives.
This is a first for me. I have come across references to ‘genre-mashing’. I see the appeal. And why not? Bookstores often put Sci Fi and Fantasy in one section. Why not put them in one book?
It was a relief to find a good mix of characters in this novel. Too many times female characters in novels like this exist only as eye-candy for the male protagonist. Here, women play a rather more meaningful role, and if one of the characters takes a minute to ogle a female colleague, well, at least that’s as far as it went. I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any real motivation for the Krai’kesh, however. I couldn’t decide if the author was saving the motivation for a later novel, or if he was comfortable with the whole ‘they’re bad because they’re bad’ thing. The author avoided making things too facile for the protagonists by putting a limiter on the magic, which is necessary or the story would be very short (‘ZAP! Begone, monster!’).
Unfortunately, there is so much action in this novel that the author has neglected to build his characters. They’re not real people, and, as such, I just didn’t care if they won or lost. An ‘action-packed’ novel STILL needs fully-fleshed, believable characters. I had no sense of that here.
There were issues with physics. I’ve always thought that if you want to describe space dog-fights in terms of in-atmosphere battles, stick your ships in an atmosphere. But when in space, which is so FREAKING COOL, why not make an effort and write battle scenes like they would happen in space? We SF writers need to stop imagining space dog-fights the way we see them on TV. TV breaks the laws of physics because of special effects limitations. A writer’s imagination doesn’t have those.
The writing is decent, and there is evidence of a well-thought-out back story. The author is clearly dangling ripe fruit in hopes of luring readers into the second book. Unless he works on characterisation and motivation, however, it’s not likely I’ll be reading book 2.
Dayne lives in southeastern Michigan with his wife and daughter. When he is not working on his Saga of the Seven Stars series and his next novel, you can find him reading, watching television with his wife, biking, walking and playing on the computer or with his daughter.