The horrors of war, a necessity for survival and an unhinged feeling that hell is about to break loose follows you around while reading Darkness. And this book is only the start, the first step towards alien war that will break loose on humans in the upcoming series. Mingled with such basic human feelings is an excitement and anticipation of what the next series of events are going to be.
This is the first time ever, me reading a alien civilization/war book. To start this journey, Iain Richmond has proved to be the right choice.
An amazing writer in the first book of the Oortian Wars series with relatable voices, fears, arguments and wrongness coming from both parties involved in the upcoming battle. There are confusing parts with slow pace in the middle but the build up towards the end is worth all the questions that stand before us about this new civilization.
About The Story
The story starts with a simple touch into today’s human’s condition and technological fear coming to life. I have goosebumps realizing how believable this situation could be in the near future. I have my fingers crossed that the day of technological addiction never comes. Hopefully!
After death, destruction and cyber terrorism, our hero falls before rising again like a proud ‘Falcon’. The amazing part is the century this story is set in. A time when man has made mineral mining base on Pluto and mutually reliable peace on earth. This is where the story take place: on a satellite station near Pluto from where a black veil is making it’s slow progress towards our solar system.
There are two to three stages of war in the end but not before Iain Richmond takes us through an excruciating path of discovery. The new alien civilization, in it’s many layers, classification and differences much represents a military classification system where everyone has a role to fullfil towards a greater purpose (defense and conquer).
In the end, we discover that it wasn’t the Oortian civilization, it’s participants or it’s leader that are eager for war, conquests or revenge (for the fallen) but their Mother Darkness who is evil and hungry to feed on cosmic matter and energy of any kind.
There are many characters in the story, the leader (not by ranking) being Falcon who is a recently appointed Captain in the story. He forms a team to ride with him to the Pluto station and from their the actual build up to the face-off starts. There is also other contributors to the story like Captain Fei, Aris (the Prox leader), Admiral Chen and so on.
Additionally, there is this whole clan of Oortians that is hard to explain. There is Prox, Warruq, Kalis, Seekers, Movoo, Krell and 6 more we are unaware of. Tzara leads them all and is the medium through which Darkness communicates to all the 12 races.
The leader is a smart man with good values, sensible direction and utmost respect for sincerity and talent. It took a long time for the man to get over survivors guilt and move on to like the Ensign on his ship. He had great comradrie with his crew and respect for other leaders.
This man with his team is sent over to observe the Darkness after Falcon returns and submits his report. He arrives with a fighter fleet but is the lone survivor (almost) until the very end. His single minded cleverness, takes his crew until the very end only to have them suffer pure horror. He will play a significant part in the next book (supposedly being the only one to have been inside the Darkness’ veil.
I assumed from the start that it was manufactured veil but it is more like an evil, hungry mass that feeds off matter from any being, Oortian or otherwise. She is referred as mother who only transverses through Tzara, the leader of Oortians. This one has immense power and it is fearsome to see how her secrets are discovered in the upcoming series for her to be defeated.
The young Prox sees great violence right after birth and is unlike any other. The brand new leader questions the Oortian notion of heaven, afterlife and their reasons for this war. She also works with independent intelligence, forming plans to fulfill her duty in war. This behaviour is unlike any Oortian which worries the leader. This was one worthy opponent Fei had to fight against.
If there ever be a foe you respect deeply, you'd know what I am talking about here.
The Oortian clan leader is a medium for Darkness. She almost feels one with it and often comes across as selfish and pompous. In the end, as she witnesses Darkness’ true nature, this leader comes to her senses and worries for her clans but sadly Darkness wipes her memory clean. She could be playing a big part is defeating Darkness.
There is Ensign Holts who is amazing and steadfast but not must of her is dwelled into. Then there is Admiral Chen who, despite the situation, cannot let go of his superiority. He is an amazing and respected leader among his fleet but, in the end, his arrogance was a big let down. Then there is Warruq clan’s leader who is aged, driven by a warrior’s rage ( a kind of rush that helps in battle) and an appropriate representation of an obedient war soldier.
The book is amazing but since it is only the first installment in a series of books to be released in Oortian Wars, there are many foggy pictures, unanswered question and undefeated opponents.
Personally, a better picture of who and what Oortians are would be much appreciated. It is hard to determine if the Oortians are AI, a mix of flesh and metallic AI or entirely metallic. Apart from the small uncertainty of an unfamiliar and unknown threat, there are many amazing elements to this story that are often fun to explore.
The VSV is one mind blowing technology. As for technology, there was so much of it that I couldn’t afford to miss a single line. The Battle Net, Kalis, the imitating and cloning qualities possessed by Oortians, the concept of ‘thought stream’, the epoxy repair tech and more such amazement exist in this timeline. The warfare on Earth, peace treaty among major parties like Euro-Arab, Russians, Chinese, Amerians and so on, political power play, cyber crime and internet addiction are some of the issues this book has brushed upon.