Friday, February 25, 2022

Dark Origins

Dark Origins (The Messenger #14)Dark Origins by J.N. Chaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the penultimate installment of J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert’s The Messenger series, a vessel appears before the growing space settlement of Kingsport, with its captain informing that Deepers are among humans, with the Deepers themselves continuing to attack the humans and their allies, and the Cygnus Realm leader Newton “Dash” Sawyer continuing his crusade to defend the free peoples of the universe. When the book begins proper following a databank of terms native to the literary franchise, Dash meets an old acquaintance named Spratley, on the run from aliens and admiring the amassed forces of the Realm.

Dash discovers that brown dwarf stars are significant to the Deepers, with the Cygnus Realm’s leader and his mech the Archetype aiding human forces losing to the antagonistic aliens, conflicts continuing throughout the course of the novel. Some of the book devotes backstory to a commander named Sabina Yagrodna Lavarovna, after which comes the discovery that the Deepers have attempted to open a new fast-travel gate. The Realm regularly salvages Deeper vessels known as Arkubators, and uses joint targeting systems, or JETS. One of the latter chapters poses the question of spirituality with a conversation between Dash and his monk ally Kai.

The fourteenth book ends with Dash and his companions admiring adorable alien animals, with this particular entry of the series definitely being just as enjoyable as its precursors, given plentiful well-described science-fiction action and some character development, alongside occasional humor, part of which involves the formulation of a new artificial intelligence system Dash terms Newton, after his legal forename that he somewhat dislikes using. Granted, the penultimate entry of the series does have some of the same issues prevalent in its predecessors such as the lack of reminders as to the appearances of the characters, but otherwise, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

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