The Star Alliance Chronicles: Crisis on the Rim

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A cryptic message from a remote sector of the galaxy reveals apocalyptic plans to invade the Coalition of Allied Worlds. All that stands in the way of this powerful invasion force is the crew of the maintenance facility at Base Station DD-109. Can this untested group of officers, and their makeshift fleet confront the enemy and prevent the brutal conquest of the quadrant? More

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About Kevin McDonald Andrews

Kevin McDonald Andrews is an Information Technologies professional and life-long Science Fiction fan. The New York Native is the author of both The STAR ALLIANCE CHRONICLES: Crisis on the Rim, and the soon to be released STAR ALLIANCE CHRONICLES: Renegade Force. When not writing Kevin enjoys traveling and listening to his favorite musical acts such as Kansas, Boston and Coldplay.

Reviews

Review by: E.A. Fournier on Sep. 13, 2013 : star star star
The experience of reading “The Star Chronicles – Crisis at the Rim” is a lot of fun sometimes and drudgery at other times. The novel is a space opera, and once the story gets into space and the antimatter torpedoes and disruptor cannons start flying, all is well – in fact, all is better than well. The writing then is moving and tense, active and up close; the dialogue is terse and controlled, and while we share the small battles and the individual fears and dangers and heroics, we never lose sight of how the larger battle they’re a part of is faring. This is where the reader’s most entertainment is to be found and it is a fun ride. The book definitely does interstellar battles well.

Unfortunately, not even space operas get to stay in the stars all the time. The book stumbles most when it’s on the ground, and it falls flat trying to handle romance. In those scenes the dialogue is bookish and emotionally disconnected; little of what’s said and how it’s said rings true. Emotionally, everything comes across as a high school crush masquerading as something deeper and more durable. Still, the characters themselves remain very likable and the reader is caught wanting the interactions to be more real, and disappointed that they aren’t.

After the introduction (which gives away too much of the plot) the first sections of the novel remain within the mind of the main character, and so everything that’s supposed to be exciting, feels passive. This continues in the very next chapter when his parents arrive. Now the reader is stuck listening to the main character talk extensively about key actions that happened some time in the past. It is tough to generate much excitement in the reader at the start of the story when you are two steps removed from the action described.

However, what remains even more curious to me is that the single, implacably negative, driving force for the entire story is the father of the main character’s first love, but this character is left off screen forever. He is the hinge plate of the entire plot, the main character’s ultimate foe, and yet we never meet him, never see him, never hear him, never really understand him, and yet there he is supposedly driving every scene, causing every twist, negating every triumph – always in the background. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of this.

Once the main character arrived at his assignment, I felt the book finally hit its stride. The writing became much more confident. I appreciated that the minor characters took on some additional complexities and nuance and proved to be far better than the flat, stock types they appeared to be at first blush. All of that helped and the pages began to finally fly by.

That brings me to the very end of the story. I have to say it was suddenly odd and strangely condensed. The situation was not credible and everything about the moment felt rushed, including the writing. What was the writer’s need for speed here? I know there are other books to follow in the series but surely it would be better to end this one with grace and not a hatchet.

So, overall, it was an enjoyable read – mostly. It seems to me that space operas require two key elements – sweeping space adventure with several wild battles and fascinating characters caught up in complex emotional situations. “The Star Chronicles – Crisis at the Rim” delivers the goods on the first but remains a bit wanting on the second.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Joke Dog on June 15, 2013 : star star star star star
Great story line. It was a fun and easy read. The author was able to vividly paint pictures with his words making you feel as if you're at the movies. There was enough character development, so you can feel and connect with the characters. It also teaches you some great life lessons such as it is not the cards you're dealt with, but how you
play it. Got my money's worth. If you're only going to read one book this summer, can't go wrong with this one. It was well written. Thank you.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anthony Sukram on Dec. 28, 2012 : star star star star star
A well done example of an engaging science fiction novel. The author took the time to create a roller coaster ride; you couldnt help but try to finish reading in one sitting. I found the story progressed at an even pace, displaying appropriate amounts of backstory. I eagerly await the sequel and I hope Stephen St. Claire's next adventure is as epic as this one!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: sixiron on Dec. 28, 2012 : star star star star
Very nice classic space opera. Good writing and dialog, interesting and defined characters albeit stereotypes are impossible to avoid in these kinds of story's. A bit slower paced than I like, but in an introductory book spending more time on characters and motivations is quite normal. All around a good read, nothing negative beyond a few awkward dialogs here and there. I look forward to a sequel and perhaps a bit more action. Great debut novel..
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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