Saturday, 19 July 2014

Book Impressions - Justice 4.1 by Jim Webster

This is the first book I've read from this author and it's an excellent sci-fi thriller. Three aspects of the book stood out for me. The first is the investigation, obviously a key component for any thriller and I enjoyed the path through the story. It's well paced with enough revelation to keep you eager for more.

The second part I really enjoyed was the world. I'm always fascinated by sci-fi authors' visions of the future and while the wider view is limited here, the microcosm it creates of humanity's expansion into the galaxy is well told. In fairness I could happily learned more about the wider aspects this is the first book in the series so I'm happy to see what is added in the following books. Even in the small area used as the setting there were some clear divergences in culture and style that provided interest.

The characters are well built and drive the story forward. More importantly they bring different flavours to the unfolding plot and again I'm hoping we see the return of these in future books.

There was a minor downer with the ending though. For me it felt very abrupt.The story seemed to be progressing to a climax and before I knew it we were in the wreckage of the aftermath. That's not a big deal as the journey up to that point was fine and it did leave me wanting more.

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When a journalist is shot down in a backward area of Tsarina, Haldar Drom of the Governor's Investigation Office is sent to investigate. He uncovers a hidden medical facility dedicated to the production of Abate, a drug used for population control, as well as evidence of the implantation of pre-created embryos in women brought to Tsarina for the purpose. He also discovers a deeper plot with far reaching political ramifications. A senior member of the Governors family, Doran Stilan is running a personal feud with the major pirate/Starmancer Wayland Strang. Indeed he begins to suspect that Stilan may even be angling to take Strang's place.

The medical facility is destroyed after it is attacked by mercenaries hired by a Strang, and Drom has to travel off world to untangle the treads of the conspiracy.

Arriving back on Tsarina, he has to deal with a failed Starmancer attack, punish the guilty and arrange for Doran Stilan to get what's coming without undermining the position of the Governor. To do this, he'll need skill, know-how and a whole lot of luck to ensure that the guilty face justice.

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