Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

Deep Space


Author: Ian Douglas
Publisher: Harper Voyager
RRP: £8.99, US $7.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 748375 4
Publication Date: 01 August 2013

Having come to a stalemate in the war with the Sh’darr, humanity has settled into an uncomfortable confederacy. With the war decades in the past tensions have begun to crack the confederacy with America pushing for more independence. The internal Earth politics takes a back seat when an Earth research starship is destroyed and a colony is attacked. With many questions unanswered a battle group is dispatched to discover whether these events mean that the Sh’darr is once again on the move...

Deep Space is the fourth book in a series written by Ian Douglas. The story is in the genre of militaristic science fiction.

I wasn’t really sure about this book at the beginning. I wasn't really sure what was going on with the repeated text, I understand that to make the book work as a standalone novel, little pieces of previous revealed information has to be inserted. What I didn’t understand was, having read it once, why I was encountering the same information a couple of pages on. This happened enough to be noticeable and somewhat irritating.

The initial impression that this was a poorly written book soon dissipated when I started to get into the multi layered story. There still was the repetition spread throughout the novel, but the story more than made up for this fault, with a combination of interesting ideas and unrelenting action.

The action is split between the battle group sent out to investigate the destruction of a human colony and the political unravellings on Earth as the confederacy decided to unravel at the worst time. With the possibility of inter galactic war a real possibility, humanity has chosen this time to turn against itself.

This is a story writ large, which is great for space battles, but it does mean that with such a large cast of characters there is little room to investigate or develop them. This is not a problem specific to this book, but appears to be an overall problem with the sub-genre.

What really keeps the story going, and the reason to keep reading, is the mysteries which the book presents the reader. The story keeps its cards close to its chest, slowly revealing one layer at a time, thereby presenting the reader with something new every few chapters.

I guess you could see the novel as being on the softer spectrum of militaristic science fiction, there is some effort to make the combat obey the normal law of physics, but you don’t get the impression that the combat is happening in a three dimensional space.

If you can get past the repetition then the book represents a good space opera.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Kindle Edition
iTunes GB
Digital Download