Book Review: Forsaken Skies

Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan Clark, The Silence #1

From the dark, cold void came an unknown force. Their target a remote planet, the home for a group of people distancing themselves from mankind and pursuing a path of piety and peace. If they have any chance at survival a disparate group of pilots must come together to fight back any way they can. But the best these aces can do might not be good enough.

Space Opera. It has been a while since I read a book in this genre. After the post that D. Nolan Clark wrote for the blog I was even more excited. Space Opera is an amazing genre to write in, and D. Nolan Clark (pseudonym for David Wellington) proofs that he means business. 

Mankind has moved beyond the limits of the Earth and inhabited multiple solar systems. As the book opens the focus is immediately placed on  Aleistar Lanoe, who is chasing some rogue pilot, Thom. The first scenes takes place at the Hexus, a major space hub. Here Lanoe and Thom's life collide with that of Tannis Valk the sort of air traffic controller of the Hexus. As Lanoe and Thom come closer and closer to the Hexus, Valk has to make some important decisions as there is one cargo ship in route of the two pilots. The decision that Valk makes in the end set away a new course of the whole galaxy... At end it is all a close call and everybody get OK. But then Lanoe and Valk meet and they proof to be old rivals. Having fought on opposite sides.

On-board of the cargo ship were two refugees Elder McRae and a young girl Roan. After the events with Lanoe they are allowed under sort of supervision on the Hexus. Elder McRae and Roan were both on there way to the Hexus to seek help for their planet, Niraya, who has been under attack. A diplomat named Maggs offered them help and assistance. However Maggs doesn't fully proves to be trusted and at the end Lanoe and Valk feel them self obliged to help Elder McRae and Roan to fight of the invasion. This is the point where a lot of things are being set in motion. As Lanoe and Valk call on old buddies to help assist them in what could be their last fight.

I hadn't read a book by David Wellington so I didn't really know what was in store writing and style wise. I must say that the build up of the story with an intense prologue and easy pick up beginning led me to get good into the story. There is a sense of calmness about it, even though there are scenes where the pages just fly by. A very clear and comprehensive writing style. 
Character-wise some of it may feel a bit rushed at first. Valk tells some personal stories to himself on how he got on the Hexus and such and you get triggered but there is no immediate followup for some people i can imagine that this will not let them connect or might even feel blunt. But don't worry too much as most of these backstories are followed up later on in the story. Hang on and be patience it will be rewarding. Valk is also my favorite character. He isn't a brave boy, but it somehow feels that he wants to redeem something, the sorrow that he has caused in his earlier life. Lanoe is a close runner up, this once hero feel that he has obligations to help the weak, which might also be his downfall. As the story progresses slowly but strongly the characters develop, on their own and as a group.

 When you look at the universe that is being created in this first book there is a feeling of grandeur to it. Even though the location where the story takes place are only few, the background of many of the character sketch a much bigger world. One with limitless possibilities! 

All taken together Forsaken Skies, the first book in The Silence series, kicks off in a spectacular way. Great character and a magnificent backdrop. 



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