Friday, December 31, 2021

The Silent Fleet

The Silent Fleet (The Messenger #4)The Silent Fleet by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fifth entry of J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert’s The Messenger series focuses on protagonist Newton “Dash” Sawyer and his crewmembers continuing to expand the capabilities of the space station Forge, with Dash himself practicing the disability of a Golden missile through his giant mech, the Archetype. The remnants of the projectile he brings aboard the Forge, with one of his allies, the monk Kai, discovering things about the ancient race, the Unseen. When Dash and company seek to go on an excursion, they leave Leira behind to hone her skills, and they visit the planet Orsino, where they enter a pillar-shaped structure and see Unseen print.

Dash eventually receives information about an antediluvian armada, the eponymous Silent Fleet, which could turn the tide of their war against the antagonistic aliens, the Golden, although they need a significant crew to pilot the vessels. The company thus seeks assistance from a group of pirates known as the Gentle Friends, ironically named due to their piratical disposition, spearheaded by Benzel, although they do ultimately agree to help. Shortly afterward, other antagonists called the Bright, led by the Purity Council, attack, and they send calls to the Golden, with a climactic battle against them concluding the fourth entry.

The book is definitely an enjoyable piece of contemporary science-fiction, with plentiful action and development, although there are occasional issues such as errors like the monk Kai called Kay at one point in the story, not to mention similarities to other sci-fi media such as the videogame Xenogears and its spiritual predecessors the Xenosaga trilogy. Regardless, the narrative is definitely a fun, well-paced diversion from the standard norm of the sci-fi genre, given its well-described battles and background, with the conclusion leaving plenty more to come, and I would definitely recommend it to like-minded readers of such literature.

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