In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.
Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.
With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.
In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.
Lieutenant Henry Gallant is an action-filled speculative adventure with good premises and ideas behind its science fiction. Both mystery and conflict drive the story of Henry Gallant as his mission to save himself and his crew from the alien Titans transforms into a larger threat.
H. Peter Alesso weaves generous setting description with hard science to paint a new space-exploring society. He seems naturally comfortable narrating from a military officer’s perspective, which added a nice realism to the story. The author’s strengths clearly lie in speculative science, but he is also skilled with foreshadowing. In the Mohs scale, I’d say this story attempts to follow true speculative science along the lines of Larry Niven.
However, passive voice fills every scene, dulling the reader’s experience. Narrative summary cuts out action that could have drawn me in. The dialogue often feels cliche, and despite the vivid descriptions of setting and science, there’s little emotional connection to the characters. The characters themselves lack a level of inner conflict would have made them compelling. Lastly, the sci-fi sometimes felt a little like the author threw every theory he knew in, plus the kitchen sink (particularly in the med bay). The result was some thin spots in his otherwise strong worldbuilding.
I’m giving this story 3.5 stars despite its flaws because I felt that Alesso’s pacing, suspense, and scifi elements were strong. I believe he’s an author to watch out for in years to come.
I recommend this book to fans of speculative space fiction, space opera, and perhaps trekkies. 😉
As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.
You can visit his Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx
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Author Web site at: http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx
Goodreads Address: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/413852.H_Peter_Alesso
YouTube trailer for Henry Gallant Saga: SciFi Book Trailer: Midshipman Henry Gallant
Facebook for Henry Gallant Saga: https://www.facebook.com/MidshipmanHenryGallantInSpace
Author Blog Address: http://cosmologysymmetrybreaking.blogspot.com/
Amazon link for Volume 1 of the Henry Gallant Saga: http://www.amazon.com/Midshipman-Henry-Gallant-Space-Volume/dp/1482640325/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
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