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Smashwords book reviews by Mark Powell
- The Stygian Conspiracy (Nexus Arcana)
on Oct. 19, 2012
This book is not what I expected it to be.
A friend of mine that likes military SF turned me on to this novel, so I bought the ebook.
I don't particularly care for science fiction because I find it either too cranial and boring or too fantastical and outlandish.
I enjoy military action/adventure novels such as those by Tom Clancy, Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey-Maturin series), Gerry Carroll's Vietnam series, and consider C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series to be one of the best series ever written, so this novel really wasn't something I would normally buy.
The Stygian Conspiracy is a pleasant deviation from the what I consider the norm of science fiction, since this book is filled with political intrigue and military deceptions that surround the conspiracy that is the driving force of the book's plot.
I like the flow, the story, and the whole setting of this novel, but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed all the tactical details, firm description of weapons, ordinance, and realistic escalation of arms development of this author's vision of future warfare.
The warship maneuvers, battle robot capabilities, and overall combat scenarios seem plausible, and were clearly given a level of thought that I rarely see outside of military fiction.
The author knows how to write exciting battle scenes and believable characters.
The political scheming is this novel's strong point, and the ending completes the story satisfactorily while keeping it sufficiently open for more.
My biggest complaint about this novel is the alien technology not being explained enough and the way this story seems to be in the middle of a much larger epic.
Otherwise, it was a great book that I do not consider science fiction in the conventional sense.
To me, this story is more akin to a speculative military futurism.