I have read many science fiction books over the years and I would say that “Discovery” is a good representation of this genre.
The Colonial Confederation and Elysium Alliance are two opposing governments that for decades have been at war over the colonization of planets but are now at an uneasy truce.
The main character, Kurt Stryder, is an ex-military black operations soldier with Recon Delta in the Confederation. He is genetically enhanced with regenerative abilities which makes it hard to kill him. He can also access any computer using NI, a Neural Interface.
Kurt is grieving for his lover Zara Hardy, who was killed somehow, and is in turmoil over his decision to leave the Recon Delta unit. So he books a room on a luxury liner, the Colonial Queen. There we are introduced to Prince Aswan, the son of a very rich and powerful man, who has booked most of the rooms on the ship and has persuaded the Captain of the cruise liner to make a quick stop.
The ship makes its unplanned jump to the Taranan Battlefield, “the largest debris field in the galaxy” which is a Forbidden Zone due to high radiation levels from a major battle. The field is also the hiding place for pirates, whom board the ship and murder passengers. Kurt manages to escape the ship with Prince Aswan and his bodyguard, Natasha Garvey, who is military trained for diplomatic security. They are the only survivors.
General Sinclair is another character who heads the Recon Delta and Col Sec Intelligence Division on Earth. The Recon Delta team are also genetically enhanced, they one group that will take part in the rescue operation at Taranan Battlefield.
The majority of the book is about the rescue mission on the planet, which is in the vicinity of the battlefield. Kurt Stryder has many questions about the planet, the Taranan Battlefield, and his arising abilities that gets answered by the end of the book.
I thought “Discovery” was an easy reading book. I have read books which delve into similar scenarios before but Jan Domagala has some surprises, especially the epilogue cliff hanger.
Domagala successfully transports the reader to a possible future with genetic enhancements, war between two super factions, and the politics that runs these governments.
This novel isn’t a stand alone story. While reading the book, I felt like I was missing some information that is probably in one of the previous books. The author explained some of the history of this period in later chapters but it wasn’t enough, and the transition between scenarios wasn’t conveyed well. As the reader, I was confused with some of the jumps from one scene to another. The author did this a few times but eventually I was able to catch on.
I would recommend this story even with some of the quirks in Jan Domagala’s writing, and would like to read a sequel because the ending peaked my interest. I need to know what happens next.