by Mike Resnick
Cover Artist: John Picacio
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Pyr Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781591027881
Date: 22 December 2009 List Price $26.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Wilson Cole has overcome huge odds in the past, but now he intends to take the fight to the Republic. He is only outnumbered by a few million ships. With audacity, bluster, and chance he plans to attack an unbeatable foe. He even tells them that he is coming. The reaction that his threat creates makes them concentrate on Cole without giving up somewhere else. This is a weakness Cole intends to exploit. First, he needs to control the impulses of his allies. Those impulses create both opportunities and traps for the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt.
Set in the Republic era of the Birthright Universe, the Wilson Cole novels are both about adventure and current issues. Can a hero use questionable tactics and remain someone worthy of praise? This is a question Cole must face. It includes the value of friends and enemies and the price that people pay for freedom. In the end, the galaxy will change and the Republic will fall. What takes it place may be better for a time. Of course, anarchy is the final fate of this universe, but the stories still remain.
The Starship series is the first series by Resnick I have read, but it wonít be the last. Wilson Cole is well written and faces conflicts and decisions that are not seen in some of the cleaner futures of Star Trek and Star Wars. Characters donít have the easy outs that have been used to keep the heroes clean. I like the real choices and I believe others will as well.
The breadth of this universe is massive. Resnick has covered many of the periods over the course of his writing. Readers do not need to read all of the stories or novels to enjoy this novel. They do need to read the other Wilson Cole novels so that the events and character interactions in Flagship make sense more quickly. The first book of the series is Starship: Mutiny, and is where readers should start.
The ending of this book is pretty standard. If youíve watched a western, you will know what happens. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and I intend to explore some of the other novels set in this universe.
This is a novel of galactic warfare. Readers that enjoy the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell should also enjoy this series. Another series that is similar are the Darkwing books by Walter Hunt. There is even a little Hornblower in Cole that can be seen in his trust in his crew and his use of nonstandard tactics.