Friday, December 23, 2011

First Contact

Title: First Contact
Author: Mark Alders
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-77111-031-0
Genre: {M/M} Futuristic Science Fiction Series
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

First contact with an alien civilization is always dangerous as Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale discovered on their last mission. Now they’re going back to the same crystalline metalloid ship to try and stop it before it can call in reinforcements from its nest, which could destroy humanity.  

When they arrive at the alien ship, they immediately know something isn’t right. It’s as if the ship is alive and watching their every move…something dark and dangerous, actually changing the walls of the ship itself. Can they escape the entity holding them, with the information they need or will all hope of success rest with convincing another strange alien race to help them? They’ve made first contact but what happens next and will they survive it? 

First Contact is the second release in Mark Alders’ series Starship Cadet Missions. Mr. Alders again does a nice job with his world-building, starting on their ship, the Mandrake, and moving out to the original alien ship. There are several attention-grabbing twists and turns here but where it really gets interesting is when the guys meet up with a second alien race, the Cyatheales…a race of trees. I have to say this really surprised me and I thought the concept and details are particularly well done. It’s here that the story really took off and the vivid details of this new world made it come alive, all while our four young officers got themselves into trouble. 

I like Ely, Emerson, Braden and Kale. They’re young, sexy, in love and energetic about everything they do but at times during the story, the author allows them to act too immature and unthinking for officers on important missions. I know it fits with the plotline but it jerks me out of the story a bit and truthfully, makes me grit my teeth.

After the events on the original alien ship, the new twists that involve representatives of the Cyatheales near the end are a shock. That sets the series up for the next release, Starship Cadet: Emissary, coming in June 2012.

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