Friday, January 14, 2022

Dawn of Empire

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

The fifth entry of authors J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert’s The Messenger series, akin to its precursors, opens with a databank on key terms as a reminder to those unfamiliar with the books’ terminology, along with a helpful synopsis for those who choose to break from the series to read other literature. Dash embraces his destiny as the Messenger, the pilot of a mech known as the Archetype, with his and his companions’ crusade against the antagonistic Golden, who despite all life outside their species, metamorphosing well beyond a local conflict. Along the way, he makes allies such as the piratic Gentle Friends, with their base, the Forge, gradually regaining its capability.

Heroes Dash and Leira continue to seek the material known as Dark Metal so that the Forge can continue to enforce the coalition he eventually dubs as the Realm of Cygnus. The flotilla travels, with Dash attempting to secure the alliance of the Aquarian Collective, meeting one of its leaders, Al’Bijea. More information about the Golden comes to light, and Dash encounters the rival mech known as Harbinger. A new enemy known as the Verity also appears, with space battles continuing for several chapters, the leaders of the Cygnus Realm examining whatever spoils of war they obtain, with occasional interrogation of the enemy aliens.

A few twists about in the epilogue, with this particular entry of the science-fiction franchise ultimately being every bit as satisfying as its predecessors, given the presence of many interesting personas and well-described sci-fi action, even if the concept of giant mechs central to battle not exactly being a novel concept, given its use in media largely outside the books. As seems the case with most literature within and without the series, moreover, some reminders as to the appearances of characters would have helped with imagining them better. Regardless, the books still hold my interest, and I will continue reading them to see how their overarching narrative progresses.

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