This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
WHAT'S VELOCITY WEAPON ABOUT?
There are two primary storylines—either one of them would have been a decent basis for a novel on their own. Combine them and you've got something special.
Sergeant Sanda Greeve is flying a fairly routine patrol when she's attacked—a rare burst of heat in a long Cold War. She wakes up in a ship from the fleet that attacked her. Alone. Except for the AI that runs the ship (is the ship?). Bero, the AI, shows Sanda footage and evidence that the Icarions that build him wiped out all life in the system except Sanda 230 years ago.
The second primary storyline features her brother, Biran. Biran's speaking at his graduation ceremony when his sister (and others) are attacked. The news disrupts the ceremony, and Biran uses finds himself in the position of having to calm those who are watching (live or on the news). In the days and weeks following, he rises to a prominent position—becoming the government's spokesman, reassuring and leading the populace through this time.
We bounce back and forth as Biran tries to stave off a war, and to Sanda dealing with its results. It's a great concept and you just don't know what to expect even though Bero has told Sanda what's happening.
And then another escape pod shows up and all bets are off.
THE STUFF I SHOULD'VE PAID MORE ATTENTION TO
There were some flashbacks to the invention of the Gate technology that makes interstellar travel possible, which was pretty interesting, but there was something about it that I just couldn't focus on for very long.
Similarly, there was a tertiary story to the main two. This one focused on a street gang involved in some pretty petty crimes, but they stumbled onto something pretty big. This was interesting, but I couldn't keep most of the characters straight and had a hard time following it. This was solely due to my focus, and as many times as I told myself to pay attention, I didn't. I predict that this is going to come back pretty significantly in the sequel—I'm just hoping I can play catch up. If you read and/or listen to this book—learn from my mistake and pay attention.
HOW WAS THE NARRATION?
I liked it. Bero in particular is hard to get right—and vital to get right. Jameson does it. Everything else came out good, too, don't get me wrong, but for this, the AI is essential. He captured the tones, flavors, and diverse set of characters in an engaging and convincing way.
SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT VELOCITY WEAPON?
When this came out, it looked intriguing. When I started seeing it show up on my Goodreads feed and book blogs I follow, I really became interested. But I didn't follow up on it. I spent pretty much e the entire time listening to Velocity Weapon berating myself for that.
This is the kind of thing I like in SF. A clever story, compelling characters, and great tech in space. I liked the humans, I really enjoyed the AI (I sort of figured this would be a variation on the AI in Rockwell's Serengeti books, and wow, I was wrong). It was a SF adventure, but it was also a straightforward thriller (with SF frills). I had a blast with this and am looking forward to the sequel.