Mar 012012

Mike Resnick


Publisher: PYR

Release Date: 2009

Genre: Science Fiction


Wilson Cole- Captain of the rebel starship “Theodore Rosevelt”

Val- Valkyrie, tough former pirate, very loyal to Cole

David Copperfield-Alien acts like he is a character in a Charles Dickens book.

Synopsis: In 1970 of the Galacitc Era, Captain Wilson Cole, the crew of the  SS Theodore Roosevelt and his fleet are wanted by the Republic.  Cole was once served in the Republic Navy, but soon parted ways because the Republic could no longer be trusted.   They are constantly under attack and outnumbered, but the Roosevelt is a very tough ship and the captain and crew are extraordinary people.  Cole has a figured out a plan that will test the mettle of his crew, but might just win their freedom and bring down the Republic.

Pro: Mike Resenick is one of those writers that I often end up reading, but for some reason I can never remember that I have actually read many of their short stories and novels.  I think that it might be because his stories are are often very different from one another.  When I picked up Starship: Flagship, and I hate to admit it, I was mainly attracted to the cover featuring a large starship in the middle of a battle.  My favorite Science Fiction is usually the more serious variety.  The cover and description on the back led me to believe this was more of the space opera variety and I was in the mood for some  bug eyed aliens and big explosions.  I was surprised to find that even though the it does have elements of that, it isn’t completely true.

  • Really good characterization.   Especially the alien, David Copperfield.  He is interesting, and appears to be insane due to his strange delusions, but also is very sane and brave.
  • Problems weren’t just solved by blasting people with lasers (even though things got blasted!).  Cole uses trickery and cunning to win battles and avoid fighting when necessary.

 Con: Due to a badly placed bar code sicker at the library, I was unaware that this was book 5 of the series.  So it took me awhile to get up to speed with what was going on in the novel.  When a faithful reader is reading later books in a series they will get bored when previous story is retold. Usually I agree, but I think that Resnick assumed that the readers would know too much from the previous books.  I really had no idea what the alien characters looked like and would have liked more of an explanation of how the technology worked.  For instance, I would have liked to know how the starships operate. They have some sort of fast engine, but they also use wormholes to get from place to place.  I never had an idea as to how fast they move outside of the wormholes.  Also, the surprise at the ending is really out of the blue,  and  is sort of like a backwards Deus Ex Machina.

Conclusion:  As a stand alone novel  this will not go down as one of the greatest every written in the history of science fiction, but I should probably reserve judgement until I can read the rest of the series.  I may append this review if I can get a hold of them.  As it stands, I can only recommend this to people that are really into Resnick novels.

Comment:When I picked this up at the library any indication of this being part of a series was hidden by the barcode.  I’ve noticed that my local library doesn’t pay attention to valuable information being covered up by their stickers.  Don’t get me started on the time I accidentally picked up a Evangelical Christian Science Fiction novel, it almost made my head explode!

Frank’s Ratings


Characters 3
Plot 3
Imagery 2
Read Again? 2
Average 2.5

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