Star Marque Rising
Stovall’s Star Marque Rising is to Moby Dick what House, MD is to Sherlock Holmes. It takes the bare bones framework and wraps a new skin around it. At its core, Moby Dick is a story about obsession, and the destruction it can wreak, and so is Star Marque Rising. It trades the vastness of the ocean for the vastness of space and a mobile white whale for an elusive stationary governorship. Endellion, though, is every bit as ruthless and blindly obsessed as Ahab.
Told from Clevon Demarco’s POV, we get to follow Endellion’s continuing descent into madness. Clevon is recruited by Endellion after he’s captured on Capital Station. Though raised in the horrid environment of Capital Station, Clevon happens to be a genetically modified human in a galaxy ruled by the hand-crafted Homo superior, created by humankind to improve the species. They succeeded all too well. Superhumans, or H. superior, ousted Homo sapiens from power, knocking them down to the bottom of the ladder. Superhumans often craft genetically modified humans for very specific purposes. Besides genetically modified humans, cybernetic enhancements aren’t uncommon. For the dregs of the stations, these are shoddy and often lead to early death. For others, these enhancements are barely noticeable physically.
Space travel in this universe takes a long time, and the Star Marque makes several six-month trips. I loved how these chapters are handled. The pure stir-craziness of being trapped in close confines for months at a time came across well. Through small scenes set at different intervals during the trip, you get to see Demarco begin his change from a station thug to a respectable starship officer.
As a starfighter, Demarco’s immediate cohorts are the other starfighter pilots: Quinn, Noah, Lee, Yuan, Mara, and Advik. He also spends a lot of time with Endellion, Lysander, the commander of ground forces, and Sawyer, who serves as the chief engineer and chief cybernetics officer as well. I loved how Noah, and Demarco grew over the course of the story. These are the two who changed the most. On the flip side, Endellion came across as flat and one-dimensional. She’s a grade-A psychopath with little redeeming characteristics that I could find. Not too much of a biggie, since Demarco is the key character, and he’s more complex. His ethics and morals evolve as he’s given a fortuitous change in circumstances and the room to grow beyond what his environment made him. The story ends with the possibility of a sequel, and I really hope we get one. I want to know where this story is going! Recommended for those who enjoy space opera/ sci-fi along the lines of Star Wars and Ender’s Game.
|Page Count||436 pages|
|Publisher||Capital Station Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|