by Sean Danker
Series: Evagardian #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
FIRST IN A NEW MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION SERIES
“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”
He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.
Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.
Admiral by Sean Danker is the first in the Evagardian series. The Admiral is a science fiction military series set in deep space and it lured me with its promise of mystery. Danker delivered a first personal tale reminiscent of the Martian with a mysterious narrator and impending doom.
Five reasons to grab a copy of the Admiral
- The Admiral was an enthralling and suspenseful read that draws the reader in from the very first page. The tale begins when three new recruits of the Evagardian Empresses’ new flagship the Julian, find themselves in their sleeper pods on a critically damaged Ganrean freighter. Lt. Deilani, techie Ensign Nils, and negotiator Private Salmagard discover a man in a sleeper pod that identifies him as an Admiral. However something seems off. The man refuses to identify himself, does not know protocol and has no uniform. The Ganrean freighter has crashed on a barren planet covered in black sand with a weird green atmosphere. There is no evidence of a crew.
- Danker delivers the tale in first person from the perspective of the Admiral whose identity is kept a mystery even from the reader. As the four of them try to understand what happened, they begin to learn about each other. They are suspicious, concerned about rescue, and curious about their commander. Salmagard thinks she recognizes him but says nothing. Nils easily follows the Admiral’s orders and Lt. Deilani is suspects he is a fraud. From the beginning, she openly accuses him of being a spy. Danker cleverly has them working together, finding common ground and setting aside hostilities for the greater cause…survival.
- The story that unfolds was nail-biting with moments reminiscent of Mark Watney’s survival on Mars in The Martian. The four worked together to solve one life-threatening situation after another. While there is geek speak the story is one even non-science fiction fans will appreciate it. It flowed wonderfully balancing character development, information, and climatic scenes.
- From the synopsis, we know that they are not alone on this strange planet. Danker slowly built on that suspense as their ship fails and they are forced to leave. Action scenes with MacGyver moments had me holding my breath. Will they survive? What is out there? Peppered with God save us all scenes the Admiral made for an entertaining read.
- Between our mystery man the Admiral and surviving their predicament Danker weaved in humor, fleshed out the world these folks came from and gave us a little history on the war between the Evagardian and the Ganrean. We are rewarded at the end with answers to who the Admiral is, before being left on a cliff awaiting what happens next.
A fantastic science fiction thriller the Admiral left me excited for the next installment in the Evagardian series.
Read an Excerpt
By SEAN DANKER
From Chapter 1
There were voices.
“An admiral? Is this a joke?” one of the voices said.
“It’s the seal. Look at this. I think someone’s done something to it.”
“Is he alive?”
“This isn’t even our ship.”
“He’s breathing. I have him.”
I was distracted from the pain wracking my body by a pair of soft lips on mine, and a rush of welcome, secondhand oxygen. The kindness didn’t last. A powerful fist smashed into my sternum.
The hand drew back for another blow, but I managed to grab the wrist and hold it. I didn’t need to be hit again.
Coughing, I opened my eyes just to shut them again. There were three lights blinding me. I released the wrist, then slowly sat up and groaned. Someone backed away from me. The deck was cold, and the air didn’t taste right.
I opened one eye and squinted up. Three people stood over me. Two young women, one young man. They wore only service-issue undergarments. Like me, they must have just come out of their sleepers.
I had no circulation in my limbs. My mouth was dry. The world was skipping frames, and my mind was stumbling to catch up. Sleepers were good at shutting down brain function; they weren’t as good at bringing it back. I could feel my heart twitching in a way that I didn’t particularly like, though the sleeper wasn’t to blame for that.
I felt like a dead man. I’d had bad wake-ups before, but nothing like this. Apart from a few readouts, the sleeper bay was completely dark. No lights, no emergency lights. Tangled as my head was, I knew that couldn’t be right.
The deck was metal, and not especially clean. I could feel an aggressive nonslip pattern of ridges under my palm. That was unexpected.
“What’s happening?” I asked, rubbing at my eyes and trying to make myself focus. It was as if I had all the negative effects of ethanol poisoning, but none of its perks. Every part of my brain was struggling except my memory. “Where are we?”
The three exchanged looks.
“Undetermined, sir.” That came from the shorter of the two females. The tall one watched me suspiciously, and the young man looked like he was trying to wake up from a bad dream. I knew exactly how he felt.
“Did you pull me?”
“You were showing warning lights. Something’s wrong with this unit,” the young man said, tapping the sleeper’s plastic shield. “The power’s gone, sir.”
“Thank you.” That was why these three had their hand-lights. My thoughts weren’t so jumbled that I didn’t know they’d just saved my life by getting me out of that sleeper.
I didn’t know where we were, but it wasn’t Payne Station. The paralysis was wearing off. I wanted to close my eyes and lie back down.
So I got to my feet, wobbling only a little. I reached up, touching my hair. It was short. I’d already known that; I was just checking.
The taller of the two women was eye to eye with me, and I’m nearly two meters. The look she was giving me wasn’t particularly friendly.
I rubbed my face, finding stubble. I shook my head and considered the three young people, thinking fast.
I eyed the young man. “Are you a tech?”
He nodded. “Ensign Nils. Trainee.”
I looked them over, trying to understand. “All of you?”
“Yes, sir,” they replied as one.
Evagardian trainees. All graduates. I sort of waved my hand at them.
“And you’re all going to the Julian.”
“Yes, sir.” Nice chorus.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and groaned. They politely just stood there, staring at me. We were all shivering.
I pulled myself together and tried to look as though I was in control of my life. How had these three gotten onto a ship transporting me? I took a deep breath to keep my temper under control.
Giveaway of the Admiral
One lucky US winner will get a copy of the Admiral delivered to their door thanks to Penguin Roc. Enter below. Good luck!Fans of the Red Rising/Martian should check out Admiral by Sean Danker #review #win Click To Tweet
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