Author: Dave Stern
Pocket Books
RRP 5.99, US $6.99, Cdn $10.50

ISBN 0 7434 7718 0
Available now

After a half-dozen years of research and testing, Starfleet prepares to launch its first warp 5 vessel - Daedalus. Propelled by a radical new engine designed by Earth's most brilliant warp field theorist, Victor Brodesser, the new ship will at last put the stars within mankind's reach. But, on the eve of her maiden voyage, a maintenance engineer, Ensign Charles Tucker III - "Trip" to his friends - discovers a flaw in Daedalus's design. Despite Trip's concerns, the ship launches on schedule. And, as Trip watches in horror, it explodes in a catastrophic ion cascade reaction, killing all aboard...

Daedalus is concerned with the events that unfold for Trip 15 years after the Daedalus disaster. Now serving as the chief engineer aboard Enterprise, Trip is still haunted by the memories of the accident.

When a freak explosion cripples his vessel, leaving it helpless before a surprise attack, Trip is forced to abandon his ship - and his shipmates. As he is on the verge of mounting a desperate rescue attempt, a shocking turn of events forces him to confront the ghosts of Daedalus once again.

If thoughts of the NASA Challenger and Colombia accidents spring instantly to mind, I suppose these were also at the forefront of Dave Stern's mind too when he penned this novel. But, worry not. This is not an angst ridden story on how we should keep pushing for the stars no matter what the cost. No, thankfully this steers fairly well clear of that scenario.

Stern admits that writing this book was not easy. Thankfully that doesn't come across in the writing. But, this is the first in a two part story and to be honest there is barely enough to keep the reader engaged for one book, let alone two. We'll see what they pull out of the bag for the second book, but it's not looking too promising.

Ray Thompson

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