by Christopher G Nutall
Commodore Sir Ted Smith has spent his entire naval career, after the rank of Lieutenant, as the commander of a grand museum piece. The Interstellar Super carrier Ark Royal. Immensely expensive to build seventy years ago and really complicated to keep up it was considered a punitive assignment and Ted used this vision to trash his liver while surprising the entire British space service by keeping the ship ready for refit.
As an inciting incident, Alien invasion is always good and it doesn’t let us down here. Human colony worlds on the rim come under attack and the most modern space naval ships of all of Earth’s nations, because we are still not a united species, get their asses handed to them by the Aliens. Ark Royal is reactivated to take the war to the Aliens because it is the only vessel with armor.
The story is top notch and this is only the first in the series. I really enjoyed the reasoning for bringing the old ship back much like the US Navy brought the USS Missouri out of mothballs when they needed a floating artillery platform. The interplay between officers was very well crafted and the progress as a written off has-been officer takes control and demonstrates his value is a jewel.
Delivery on the narration felt off and I’m not certain if it was the narrators natural rhythm or perhaps an effort to sound at all times like Winston Churchill but it really lagged during the action and stress parts. I enjoyed the work though and look forward to the next installment. Four out of five from me.