by David Drake Book : Fiction
Excellent military SF series continues   (2009-06-09)
Drake, David ~ In the Stormy Red Sky ~ Baen, 2009 ~ 378 pages ~ adults, some teens.
"'Heart of Steel are our ships!' played the band on the quay. The Bergen and Associates shipyard was decked with bunting and packed with temporary bleachers for this unique occasion."
This is the seventh book in Drake's RCN series about Daniel Leary and the Cinnabar navy, including his unusually talented signals officer Lady Adele Mundy whose computer talents are almost like magic.
Daniel is now a Captain and will take his newly refitted and former Alliance [enemy] ship, now the Milton, on a voyage to Karst where a still powerful Cinnabar Senator and now diplomat will attempt to solve some serious problems with a new and perhaps unfriendly government.
Needless to say, a variety of complications emerge. The Milton is soon engaged not in a "shake-down" cruise, but in a variety of battles against uncomfortable odds. As before, Adele is able to retrieve and translate Alliance codes to give the Milton a considerable advantage and even the odds. Still, the RCN forces face considerably larger enemy fleets.
Drake has done quite a good job of inserting enough background/context/previous history into this story so that this book can be read independently. The background content is nicely integrated into the story line so it does not intrude but it does help the new reader or those who have forgotten some of the particulars of the first volume, With the Lightnings which set the stage for those that follow.
Those who have read the earlier books will find this one just as good and similar in plot, characterization, description of strategy and tactics, and crew interactions. This excellent series with appeal to those who enjoy military/naval SF as well as space opera. Drake is especially good with descriptions of space ships, technology, strategy, tactics, and crew interactions. Those who have enjoyed David Weber's Honor Harrington stories will certainly find these seven volumes rewarding.
I would have liked a front matter map to show where things are, but that's not essential. Print and white space are quite satisfactory. The appealing cover by Stephen Hickman shows Leary and Adele with space ship bridge technology in the foreground and space ships in the background. It is excellent cover art.
The RCN series should be in any SF collection. In the Stormy Red Sky continues an excellent and popular series by a highly visible and well regarded author.
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