Saturday, August 13, 2011

BOOKS: Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnick

I looked for Mike Resnick's Starship: Mutiny in paperback or ebook form for a long time. Patrick had gotten audio versions of this book and the next two books in the series and pronounced them as good as Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet books. Which is pretty fine praise.
And Patrick was right.
The stories are not too dissimilar between The Lost Fleet and the Starship series. An interstellar war going nowhere/badly. Out of nowhere, a captain arises to lead one ship and then many. All along, both sides of the war have cause to fear this new leader. And in the end, after battles aplenty and losses along the way, our hero achieves victory.
Okay, the stories are in the same ballpark, but it's all about style. And Resnick certainly has his own twists on the story outlined above.
Wilson Cole's the hero in question and he isn't much of a hero when Mutiny all begins. He's a screw-up (Compare with Black Jack Geary, who's treated as god-sent in The Lost Fleet). Cole's been banished to the Theodore Roosevelt because the administration can't find someplace closer to nowhere to send him. He is a screw-up who fails upwardly, making jackasses out of his superiors along the way. And he does it again with the TeddyR and that is the last straw. He's brought back to the home world to stand trial for his (successful) mutiny.
The fix is in and his shipmates aboard the TeddyR decide their lot in life would be better and more fulfilled with Cole running the show rather than any of the other failures that had preceded him at the helm of the old and failing starship. So, they break him out, averting an impending death sentence. 
The TeddyR crew still feels impelled to fight for the Republic. At least through to the finish of this first book. And that's where more similarities occur with The Lost Fleet books. The space battles are reasonable and nothing like what you see on TV or in the movies. And the slower pace, combined with intense, frantic action for seconds at a time, make for gripping reading.
I searched and found this treasure. And despite the my embargo on reading more than three consecutive books in a series, I broke the rule and read all five over a four-day period. Guess that qualifies as a five-star review in deed (and in thought).