Dec Reviews




Here is a sampling of what people have been saying about Declination.

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"Science Fiction at its Best"
Review by Nina M. Osier
20 Jul 2002

Declination, David Derrico’s sequel to Right Ascension, begins a decade after the first novel’s conclusion. Admiral Daniel Atgard, the hero who saved humanity from annihilation by the Lucani Ibron, remains retired and the members of his crew have moved on to other ships and other missions. The old team of Dex Rutcliffe, Zach Wallace, and Anastasia Mason (now a starship captain in her own right) finds itself drawn back together, as Zach faces court martial for destroying a fleeing SPACER (Society for Pacifism and Continuing Ethical Reform) vessel following its assault on a Confederation colony–in defiance of orders to take the terrorists alive.

What follows is a fast-paced, somewhat convoluted narrative of Confederation politics in a time of crisis–of would-be rebels exploiting that crisis–and of the alien Vr’amil’een taking advantage of the conflict among humans to launch their own assault. Anastasia Mason must face not just the strategic dilemmas of fighting the Confederation’s enemies, but a series of wrenching moral conflicts as she plays the role of diplomat as well as that of captain. Which loyalties should she put first, when giving each obligation its due proves simply impossible? Under what circumstances can she justify using a powerful new weapon, whose horrific effects carry echoes of the massacre that a decade ago drew the Lucani Ibron’s wrath? And when the final crisis comes (with, perhaps, the Lucani Ibron putting in another appearance…), will we be hearing from Admiral Atgard again?

Although I found Declination a bit harder to follow than Right Ascension and some of its terminology distractingly reminiscent of Star Trek, I enjoyed my hours in Captain Mason’s company quite thoroughly. The Vr’amil’een make me hope to meet more Derrico-created alien species, his human characters have more depth here than in his first novel, and he brings his tale to a wrenchingly ironic (and surprising) conclusion. He offers a morality play transformed into high adventure and that’s a working definition of science fiction at its best.

"Excellent Read With Solid Technical and Ethical Elements"
Review by Mark S. Whorton
(former NASA engineer)
1 Apr 2010

Declination is an excellent read and a great sequel to Right Ascension. Declination actually gets better as it goes along, which is just what you want in a good book. Derrico does a very nice job of making the advanced technology believable. A lot of sci-fi books take the lazy route and avoid any basis for the advanced technology they introduce which essentially makes it “magic.” I really liked Derrico’s explanation of the Lucani Ibron ship’s materials and the innovative offensive strategy to beat it. I know one reviewer criticized this as implausible. Perhaps rather than “new element” what the author was referring to was a “new material” which is absolutely credible and not technically flawed. It isn’t too far of a stretch to extrapolate today’s “smart materials” research out a few hundred (or thousands of) years or so and envision this technology. This is very good science fiction — stretching our imagination about the way things might be in the future – both in technology and human nature. Good job David!

"Another Great Book by David Derrico"
Review by Lloyd Johnson
12 Apr 2010

This is another great book by David Derrico. Although this book is a sequel to Derrico’s first book, Right Ascension, in many ways it can stand alone – especially the first half. Like Right Ascension, I was reminded quite a bit of the Star Trek series (the better episodes), but this time the crew is split up and they have their own adventures. Each one is dealt with separately leaving the reader hanging on cliffs as the story returns to the other characters and their cliff hanging situation. From time to time, the characters are reunited with each other.

The challenges are once again nearly impossible, but due to strong moral fiber, excelllent combat skills, good leadership and a bit of luck, these challenges are successfully met. Before even starting this book, I somehow knew they would do it, but it was still very entertaining to read how it was done. Although there were a few places in the first book that made me raise an eyebrow, I didn’t really experience that with this book. Some ethics and morality issues are touched upon to provide a bit more depth than just space combat adventure story.

This books has left me hungry for more space combat books. Fortunately there are a lot of recent good ones out there to choose from. Despite the cheap price, this book and its prequel compare quite favorably to the more expensively priced e-books.

I gave it 5 stars.

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