"Empire and Earth: Book 3 of Rediscovery" by Dan Melson - IHIBRP 4-Star Book Review
A Highly Technical Sci-Fi Epic Meets Dogs In Space!
Overview: Graciela Juarez is back and her interplanetary dog business is growing by leaps and bounds. As a Guardian for Empire, she’s also in a prime position to save the people of Earth from both the demons—the mortal enemies of Empire—and themselves.
In this chapter of Dan Melson’s Rediscovery Series, his main protagonist, Graciela Juarez, intends to help the people of Earth prepare for the fall of world governments brought on by their new alien overseers while Empire forces clandestinely battle fractal demons and other entities in order stave off all-out planetary destruction.
Melson’s overall world-building skills in his Rediscovery Series are exemplary, however, the bulk of this story is a bit mundane and repetitive as he presents a minimal focus on action and focused most of the attention on the Juarez family dog enterprise. In fact, the primary start of this novel (the first 30%) deals mainly with Graciela growing, managing, and maintaining her interplanetary dog business as political and cultural tensions between Earth and Empire continue to escalate.
Melson’s heroine has—by now—adjusted to the physical and intellectual enhancements she has undergone as an instated member of Empire, and while her powers continue to grow and expand, it seems in the telling of this particular story that Graciela Juarez has become somewhat of an elitist after the years spent training and becoming part of one of the most powerful families in Empire. This new sense of entitlement leads her to take certain privileges for herself and her family while she personally deals quite harshly with anyone who might stand in their way. Included in Melson’s narrative are some relatively shocking and unnerving episodes of bullying wherein Graciela seems to take pleasure in her growing powers. She mercilessly judges and vanquishes her opposers through mental control and mind-torture, whether they have knowingly or unsuspectedly cooperated with the enemy working against her, her family, or Empire.
It isn’t until a member of Graciela’s crew mistakenly reveals the presence of an Empire vessel conducting business on Earth that several of her own ships and crew are seized and taken hostage by embedded enemy forces, not only threatening the stability of the planet but Grace’s entire dog operation as well. Knowing that resistance is futile, Grace takes charge of a fleet of Empire ships to mount a planet-wide rescue of her people and open up the possibility of initiating a system whereby the citizens of Earth can benefit from doing business with Empire, and eventually join with them as citizens to guard against their mutual enemies. Once she is exposed as a Guardian supporting the assimilation of Earth by Empire, and the U.S. President goes into attack mode, that world order predictably and inevitably heads for collapse. Grace takes it upon herself to kick into “Save the World” mode as she relies on her extensive powers to try and outthink the ambitious leaders of Earth’s governments while trying to prevent the retribution and savagery that comes with tyrannical despots, government collapses, and nuclear Armageddon.
As in Melson’s prior chapters of this series, copious and repetitive details about calculating space jumps and dog litters, as well as verbose descriptions explaining Graciela’s daily routines aboard ship and the technology she utilizes as a working citizen of Empire, tend to muddle and clog up the main storyline. Melson’s extensive narrative is focused mainly on minutiae; the technical terminology, customs, laws, trade, government, and jargon that is specific to Empire’s culture. Eliminating run-on paragraphs with repetitious statistics and the unnecessary details of calculating each routine space journey, would provide readers with a more enjoyable, succinct, less confusing, and cleaner read.
“Empire and Earth” is a highly technical Sci-fi epic that should be read in sequence as part of the Rediscovery Series. I recommend this novel for hard-core fans of Epic Sci-fi, Techno Sci-fi, Alien Invasion, and Space Opera—Especially those who cheer for the underdogs and really enjoy getting down to the nitty-gritty, nuts-and-bolts of space travel and assimilating alien cultures.
Find "Empire and Earth: Book 3 of Rediscovery" by Dan Melson on Amazon & Kindle here.
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