Duel in the Dark by Jay Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A human empire which spanned the galaxy fell, worlds and systems were left orphaned, blasted to their bedrock or wiped from memory but far on the rim a few worlds retained some of their technology and new societies began to form.
A few centuries after the cataclysm powers vie for dominance on the rim of the galaxy, the democratic Confederation and the totalitarian Union have fought three wars already each won by the confederation but the union is once again ready for another assault but first they offer an open hand to the Alliance the young upstart militaristic society. The Alliance send one battleship into Confederation space to secure a major resource, if they succeed a full assault could be on the cards to secure a large portion of the rim before the Union can achieve their aims but first the unexpected appearance of a lone Confederate battleship has to be dealt with.
Duel in the Dark is a good opening to the Blood on the Stars series, it sets up the "world" this story is going to inhabit without getting bogged down with thousands of years of history pre cataclysm. The psychological and military aspects of the conflicts between the two battleships and captains works very well, echoes of any number of classic WW2 movies and for the scifi fan trek episode Balance of Terror is of the same theme.
An enjoyable and well paced novel which delivered the characterisation and action as well the complexity in the narrative to ensure I purchased the second book in the series.
View all my reviews