Saturday, February 6, 2016

Book Review: Inherit the Stars by Tony Peak

Inherit the Stars by Tony Peak
Paperback, 464 pages Published November 3rd 2015 by Roc

There is something about debut novels, the author is putting everything they got into it, often they have worked on it for longer and harder than most that will come later. No deadlines, just years of tweaking and perfecting. The raw talent before it is fully honed.

Tony Peak is a first time author who think will get better and better with each novel. That is not to say I didn't enjoy this one. There were some growing pains here. Nothing that kept me from enjoying this old school style space opera that used never skimped on world building despite spending most of it's page count off-worlds.

The story of Kivita Vondir, a orphan space salvager who inherits her father's ship and travels the stars alone when she is dragged into a intergalactic conflict. In her latest job she is hired by a religious order to find a gemstone that contains data stored that can only be reached by psychics called Savants. Things get more interesting when her ex- a man named Sar is hired to beat her to the gemstone. Once they get the stone Kiv is pulled into a wider universe she didn't know she was a part of. At this point it becomes clear that Peak has built a traditional Joseph Cambell style hero's journey.

This far future (I think it's our future?)space opera uses a well thought-out religious mythology that seemed influenced by both Phil K. Dick and Dune at the same time. I know that is a crazy combo but that is the crazy thing about the beliefs and skills of the Savants in the story.

The only thing that didn't work for me. Peak did a great job building this mythology that reflected the Cambellian post Star Wars space fantasy, and put his mythology through great fully realized space battles. At the same time he spent a great deal of time mixing those elements with the hard science of space travel. I felt like the book would have been better off to fully deal with the fantasy elements and less on the technical aspects that seemed to try and ground the story at times.That said Peak used the time dilation and the long space journeys for good emotional impact.

I have to admit here that while I have never met Peak in the real world, I enjoy following him on Facebook. I probably would not have picked up this book otherwise. I do want to see where this series goes but I think it has as much to do with wanting to see what Tony Peak does next or how he grows in the future. I think Peak is a more exciting author than this is an exciting book. I hope to see more creations inside and outside of this universe he has created.

Bottomline, it is a well done hero's journey space opera. If you are looking for more of this type of novel it is great place to start.

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