Space Carrier Avalon (Castle Federation Book 1), Glynn Stewart – Review

Space Carrier Avalon is old and ready for decommissioning. The Federation Space Navy sends her out on one last tour. But Avalon and her crew find the tour isn’t at all as peaceful as they expect.

The Confederation started a war, and Avalon joins the ranks of Federation allies against humanity’s home star. Battles, death, treachery and … love? await the crew as they set out to stop the Confederations onslaught.

Stewart tends to give readers a LOT of technical details about his spaceships. These books are no exception. However, all the specs and info are nicely balanced by the interesting characters and engaging battle scenes.  I especially enjoyed his depiction of characters learning how to cope with disabilities, something not usually seen in science fiction. (If only limb regeneration were a reality!) Also, Stewart’s world-building is top-notch. This the second book I’ve read recently that carries a well-known mythos into space – in this case that of King Arthur. I like the idea that beloved tales of Earth will be remembered far into the future, including on distant planets, and that the ideals of honor and loyalty accompany them.

I am skeptical, however, of the extremely extensive use of technology, including computerized implants that the characters use to gather information, communicate, run equipment, etc. While parts of the spaceship have glitches every so often, the implants don’t. They can be damaged, but seem very robust for computers, not even being affected by viruses in the ship’s system. And the spaceships are huge, complex contraptions that cost a lot to build, yet every system, rich or poor, has some sort of ship. Apparently Stewart’s backstory includes some remarkably clever engineers and scientists through its history.

Overall, while I wasn’t interested in all the technical details of spaceships and their munitions, I liked this series, and recommend it to fans of science fiction, space opera, military fiction and such works.

You can find out more about Stewart and his books by subscribing to his newsletter here and on his website.

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