Book Review – The Daedalus Incident by Michael J Martinez

Michael J Martinez

Reviewed by:
On 2013-11-25
Last modified:2013-11-25


Science fiction involves a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but this book pushes it past the breaking point.

The Daedalus Incident by Michael J Martinez

The Daedalus Incident by Michael J Martinez

The blurb ballyhoos:

Mars is supposed to be dead… a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

The book consists of two interleaved storylines – one in our future and one one in an alternate past where space travel in sailing ships is possible.

Science fiction involves a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but this book pushes it past the breaking point.  The alternate history storyline tries to come up with reasonable explanations for sailing ships in space, but really any thought at all easily pokes holes in it.  The planets in the solar system are just REALLY far apart.

The storyline that takes place in our future is intrinsically less absurd, but still comes with assumptions that don’t bear scrutiny.  Space miners just don’t make sense.  The first chapter reads like cliche military sci-fi but it gets better after that.

There are a bunch of things that aren’t properly explained, but by that point you’ve either accepted the premise or you haven’t.

Right at the end the book introduces some plotlines that tease a sequel or trilogy, but it doesn’t interfere with the book’s plot arc.

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