Drake’s Drum (Review)

Drake’s Drum (Review)

nd finally we finish (for now) the war against the creepy virus which takes over entire races and uses them as total brain-slaves, grinding its subjects into ruin as it continues with a full wartime economy (because what else would there be) as it attempts to take over the universe.

So, in this Ark Royal installment (number XVII, but who’s counting), humanity decides to move against the virus’s homeworld (totally built up, nothing but an over-polluted, totally factoried system worked by mindless slaves (the goal of the current governor of Florida, no doubt)). But the humans cannot send anything of weight to take the fight to the enemy but two ships, the Lion and the Unicorn from the previous books. And mind you, the captain of the Unicorn was caught in bed with the other captain’s wife, so there are hard feelings to make this doomed mission ever more unlikely to succeed.

Oh, the humans have new tech (their only advantage) in the form of “pushers” that can accelerate asteroids to something close to light speed. And they have the element of surprise. And it’s a big system, after all – lots of places to hide. The campaign that is launched is tactically fun, with successes and failures, as they whittle away at the enemy defenses. If you like the Ark Royal books, with their split-second saves and dire odds, well, this one is pretty much a solid addition to the collection (Christ, there goes my leftover space on the shelf).

The only bad news – I’m not sure if what might follow (the story of a survey ship hunting for the fleeing virus spores) will be available to me. It might only come out in e-form, which I really don’t read. But if this is the end of the road, I’m happy. I’ll look around a little more and see if there are other paper products I can score.

But it was a good series that all came from a find in a used bookstore in a city 1000 miles from home. Another interesting adventure in literature.