Writing seems to run in my family, with a few different storytelling (or writing) relatives. And today I’m very happy to review Protector of the Refugee Planet by Dennis Mahoney. It’s a little hard to claim this is an unbiased review, since that’s my dad! 🙂
Protector is a sci fi adventure set in the fairly distant future, centering around Steven, a member of the Order of Protectors. After breaking up a drug ring goes bad and Steven accidentally kills the drug lord, he begins having hallucinations (or visions?) of the Order’s founder, D. F. Nathaniel, who is not at all pleased that Steven broke the Order’s strict rule against taking a life. It doesn’t make things easier when Steven develops a crush on his assigned psychiatrist, Sheera, someone he is absolutely forbidden to date. Both problems pursue him to Pitcairn, an edge of the civilized galaxy world where Steven is sent to stop a harpy-like alien who’s been on a rampage–but he has to do it without killing him. Or breaking the code against romancing Sheera.
This is a fun sci fi romp in an old style–think Heinlein at his more innocent. The protagonists are young/new adults, and this would be a good one for young adult readers too. Even killing a drug lord doesn’t get too violent, and there’s only a slight amount of romance.
There’s an interesting sci fi world here, on a galactic and global scale. We learn a lot about the Order of Protectors in the first part of the book, including their training, structure and rules. I especially liked the glimpses into their origins, through the D. F. Nathaniel hallucinations (?) and with quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
Galactically, humans have spread to many planets with the aid of wormholes, but unlike Star Trek or Star Wars it seems to be a human-dominated galaxy, with mostly only slight mention of intelligent alien life. Though that question does come into play in an interesting way on Pitcairn!
Sheera and Steven are a good team, literally dividing the brains and the brawn. They belong to separate branches within the Protectors, so their jobs and skills are very different intentionally. I like a little more romance in my stories, but there’s just a hint of that here bringing more tension into the situation.
This is the first in a planned series, and I hope we’ll get to explore more of the galaxy and life of Protectors in the next installment. Like I said in my last review…series always benefit from interest in their first book, so I’ll make the pitch again for checking this one out!
Author’s Site: http://www.dennismahoneystorycrafter.com/