Sun Wolf (Book 2, Space Unbound series)
Having proven himself on the planet Silvanus, Aiden Macallan has been given command of the titular Sun Wolf, a newly minted interstellar spaceship equipped with a mysterious device that enables travel at an incredible ninety-two percent the speed of light. Even more mysterious are the “voidoids” discovered in 2169 that allow spaceships instantaneous passage from one star to another. With access to this naturally occurring phenomenon, the Sun Wolf effortlessly traverses light-years in the time it takes most of us to drive to the grocery store.
When these voidoids begin intermittently disappearing, Aiden and his crew are tasked with investigating. And thanks to an intelligent and capable cast of characters (reminiscent of the crew from Star Trek: Voyager), their investigations bear fruit quickly. The alarming discovery that the voidoids may actually be the glue holding the universe together coincides with the equally alarming discovery that their sporadic outages are purposefully engineered by a terrorist group called Green War.
Elsewhere, brilliant scientist Elgin Woo works out how to travel beyond the outermost voidoids and discovers a planet one hundred and twenty-seven light-years from Earth teeming with colorful, mind-boggling alien life. It is here that Elgin’s most far-fetched scientific theories are developed and reinforced, making him the only person alive capable of restoring the voidoids to proper working order. The question is, can Aiden and his crew connect with him across that unimaginable space before it’s too late?
In book two of his Space Unbound series, author David C. Jeffrey shows boundless imagination, especially when it comes to alien life. There’s also a lot of heavy technospeak on space travel and engineering, all of which is somehow engaging and easy to follow. The astrophobic politics and misleading rhetoric that gain popularity on Earth feel well developed and disconcertingly realistic, though, in my opinion, the caricature politician who gives voice to these ideas is a little too on-the-nose (at one point going so far as to declare he wants to make Earth great again).
Like Sun Wolf‘s predecessor, my favorite chapters were those that focused on planetary exploration. In Through a Forest of Stars, we got to know Aiden on the planet Silvanus as he interacted with a sentient, planetwide, mycelial lifeform called the Rete. Here, Elgin Woo absolutely steals the show on the planet Shénmì. As he explores, readers are treated to a hodgepodge of strange animal life and even botanical space travelers launched from fast-growing beanstalks. Fans of Arthur C. Clarke and Andy Weir will fall head over heels in love with Jeffrey’s creativity and non-humanoid extraterrestrials.
The climax is surprisingly heavy on dramatic military tropes, and the Sun Wolf‘s coup de grâce against its diabolical, somewhat campy adversary made me smirk. But even at its most over-the-top, Jeffrey’s follow-up was hard to put down. All told, Sun Wolf is an immensely enjoyable page-turner with action and exploration galore.
|Author||David C Jeffrey|
|Page Count||405 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|