The Aftermath

As a standalone story, The Aftermath would have been pretty good. It’s an interesting story from a sci-fi take: a family on a space ship out in the belt, hauling ore. They’re attacked. One member escapes back to the belt and the rest are sent out on a long orbit with a broken ship, years before they’ll return to civilization.

It’s an interesting story, showing just how big space is and how dangerous a frontier it can be in a science fiction story can be in the near future solar system, where they don’t have magical engines that can go through the system in days (well, they do, but not on a cargo ship like this). And if you don’t have an antenna and can’t aim a laser, then you can’t very well talk to anyone.

Structurally though, it’s weird to be placed as the 4th and final book in the Asteroid Wars, since the War ends with The Silent War. With parallel events in the beginning of The Aftermath and The Silent War, it stands fairly well as a companion piece, but I’m not sure #4 is the best place to read it. Perhaps intermixed with The Silent War? So it goes.

One interesting thing you do so is the continuing story of Dorik Harbin, now a cyborg named Dorn. The first and really only cyborg character (where most others are healed with nano machines instead) is an interesting space to explore, both in how Dorn is growing and changing as he searches for absolution and in how others react to both a mass murderer and a cyborg (and which of the two is worse).

The alien subplot that first bookended The Silent War is explored a bit more in The Aftermath, but no where nearly as much as I was hoping. We could have used more of that.

One major problem I had with several of the characters in The Aftermath was just how badly Victor Zacharius was treated when looking for his family. I get that he has no money and basically no options–and so far as anyone knows his family couldn’t possibly have survived–but they still basically hold him a slave. Especially from Big George, this just seems weird.

So it goes. Certainly among the weakest of the series this far. Skippable, unless you’re the completionist sort.

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