SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1465 The Augustine Agenda, by William L. Lavell Book Review | SFReader.com

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The Augustine Agenda, by William L. Lavell
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Create Space
Published: 2010
Review Posted: 6/10/2013
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

The Augustine Agenda, by William L. Lavell

Book Review by Paul Weiss

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Earth was overcrowded and a shadowy industrial conglomerate, identified only as "The Company", offered to terraform the planets and moons of the Three Systems into habitable environments for emigrating pioneers in return for a contract with Earth's government that they could retain all the profits that might be drawn from the resources and future business earned on what was obviously a high risk venture with low probability of any return at all. But, when the Company decided that this agreement was a license to become a dictatorial government ruling every aspect of the settlers' lives, a resistance was formed and the brutal war was on.

Jace Ryan is the commander of the Resistance on the planet Augustine. After a series of tentative unsuccessful engagements, the Company launches an all-out, no-holds-barred attack and the Resistance forces are soundly thrashed. Jace's friends are killed, his girlfriend Magenta is MIA and his sister, Jade, after considerable argument to the contrary, accepts her brother's forcible wishes and escapes to fight another day. Imprisoned on a penal colony after his capture, Jace meets three other prisoners - a reluctant mercenary, a skilled pilot and a telepath, each of whom would like to see the last of the Company as much as Jace. After their escape, the chase is on and Aarla, the Company CEO and Fleet Commander Straker, pull out all the stops to re-capture them and end this thorn in their sides once and for all.

I have to give first-time author William Lavell good marks for writing an effective gung-ho sci-fi space opera that is easy-going enjoyable reading. The characters were nicely developed and I have to admit that I got a special kick out of the rather irreverent sawbones who chose to escape with Jace and his crew rather than face an irate shotgun toting father who wanted to blast his butt for playing fast and loose with his daughter. But I've also got to say that there's a considerable feeling of "been there, done that" in this debut novel. THE AUGUSTINE AGENDA is a STAR WARS plot (rebels vs the Empire) played out in a STAR TREK universe complete with inertial stabilizers, warp drives, blasters, tractor beams, deflector shields, talking main computers, telepaths and empaths.

Lavell's clearly got the chops for writing sci-fi but needs more originality before he'll truly stand out from the crowd.
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