I have to admit, Space Opera as a Science Fiction genre is a brand new concept to me. When I picked up this book on the Canadian Amazon site, at the recommendation of a reading group I belong to, I wasn’t sure what it meant. I had set in my mind a vision of a soap opera with an outer space setting. That, as it turns out isn’t entirely incorrect. As always, I turned to Google to answer my question. From the results I received, I summarized that a Space Opera is a story which involves drama and action, set in outer space, that focuses more on character interaction than on technology. That description explains exactly what this novel is.
In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to the main problem facing Kendro, the King. Their sun is dying and their planet needs to be evacuated if anyone is to survive. In large ships, they set out in search for another world to call home.
The action doesn’t stop there. Along the way, another alien race threatens their destruction; there is a plot to overthrow the king and all kinds of other little tidbits, including a bit of romance, to keep the reader entertained. There is a military side as well as a personal side. The reader experiences not only the battles for existence, but the ups and downs of everyday life that make up that existence as well.
At first, I felt a bit swamped by the sheer number of details and characters. This feeling subsided as I delved further into the novel and formed my own understanding of the author’s world. Once I fully grasped the concept of the birthmarks, things began to fall into place with ease.
I must warn this isn’t a book a reader can skim through. You will need to focus your attention on the words and details. Before you begin, make sure you have time set away to be able to fully enjoy Chapman’s work. There is a glossary at the end to help the reader out, which definitely makes things a bit easier at times.
This is a fantastic choice for seasoned Science Fiction fans as well as first time Space Opera readers. Now that I have been introduced to this genre I will be coming back for more, especially if written by Dawn Chapman.
Rating 4.5/5 stars.