Fiction - Science Fiction
689 Pages
Reviewed on 12/27/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In Boom by Fairchild, following a hostile Didjian attack at the academy, Admiral Merrecci must pilot the Onyx with a crew of academy attack survivors who happen to be cadets from a special wing for the developmentally disabled, including Trisomy 21, PDDs, and even one without a face. Merrecci struggles to manage the situation, relying on cadet competence despite doubts. In a fierce battle, attempts at negotiation eventually lead to escalated tensions and calls for aid. Conflicts among the crew intensify with personal confrontations and strained relationships. A string of events unfolds, from chaos in the Sentrale System that impacts execution strategies to encounters with the Maridamarak, tragedy, and desperate moves to bait the enemy. Internally, suspicions and accusations plague the crew, leadership dynamics shift, and shocking truths unravel that prompt discussion on roles and responsibilities within the fleet. Ultimately, the real mission becomes clear: the fate of humanity lies in the hands of the Onyx.

““This mission is really starting to piss me off,” Merrecci complained.” Boom is a sizeable novel with a lot of moving parts, but author Fairchild is able to keep readers engaged with an intriguing premise, a fast-moving pace, and elements of humor, even if not everyone will be on board with the nature of the jokes. The character development is extraordinary, with Merrecci having a prominent character arc, something he would not be capable of without the brutal honesty, quirks, and differently-thinking machinations of his rag-tag crew. As readers, we are treated to threat over threat, plenty of tension, conflict, and someone named Binnybodelandomingarathumapula. Fairchild's world-building is top-notch, with the standout to me being the construction of Guggler’s Den, from its grime-covered checkpoints to opulent high-rises, with intricate rules about face coverings, bounty collection, the hierarchical structure of the city, and a polymeliac alien element within the human-centric storyline. Fairchild ticks all the boxes for creating something new in a wildly recycled genre, and I enjoyed every page of Boom. Very highly recommended.

Paul Zietsman

In Boom by David Fairchild, when Captain Vincenti Merrecci is summoned to the office of Prime Admiral Shade, he feels just a nanosecond away from punching the admiral in the face. However, he learns that he has been summoned because Earth is on the brink of war and he is to take charge of a new ship, the Onyx, on a daring mission to save mankind. The attack from The Great Divide comes sooner than expected, but Merrecci is unable to fill the Onyx with the required team. At the time of the attack, he manages to save his sister, Dr. Wanship, and her special education patients, whom he comes to rely on as his crew, and from whom he learns that people with disabilities are smarter, tougher, and more capable than other people make them out to be.

Boom is a science fiction novel by David Fairchild with elements of daring action, suspense, and comedy that is driven by a colorful array of characters. To me, the appeal of Boom lies in the author's authentic and unique cast of characters and their dealings with one another. At the center of the interaction is Captain Merrecci, and the story revolves mainly around his perception of what one could call a band of misfits that make up his crew. As his initially negative perception changes, the disabled characters rise to the demands of the moment and truly blossom, and so does the captain. By coming into their own, their antics and brilliance come into play more, making for a captivating set of events. Boom offers a deep look into contrasting personalities, which serves for explosive clashes that can be edge-of-your-seat thrilling yet downright hilarious.

K.C. Finn

Boom is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is best suited to the older teen and adult reading audience owing to some mild sexual references and the use of strong language. Penned by author Fairchild, this riveting tale plunges readers into a cosmic conflict where Earth's destiny rests on the shoulders of Captain Vincenti Merrecci. The plot unfolds with the intrigue of a galaxy in pursuit of Earth's god-like being, rumored to have the power to create and destroy galaxies. The redemption arc of Captain Merrecci, condemned to lead a new ship and crew in an imminent war, takes an unexpected turn when he must rely on a group of cadets with disabilities. The unfolding adventure blends space battles with societal commentary, challenging stereotypes and celebrating the untapped potential within diverse individuals.

Author Fairchild has crafted a highly immersive sci-fi adventure that offers readers an exhilarating roller coaster with a perfect mix of drama, humor, and profound moments. The narrative twists from outrageous space pranks to startling profound conversations, and the emotional depth of the characters kept me engaged throughout. A particular standout feature is the book's approach to disability, showcasing strength and capability in characters often overlooked or over-used as gimmicks in the genre. This inclusive attitude in the narrative and character conception serves not only as a huge strength for the originality of the book but also as a powerful message about the diverse forms heroism can take. Combining this ethos with accomplished worldbuilding, a keen ear for dialogue, and a confident, emotionally resonant narrative makes the overall work a beacon of representation, promoting conversations about diversity and breaking down defunct societal ideas within the framework of a blockbuster intergalactic epic. Overall, Boom is a highly recommended read for both sci-fi enthusiasts and those seeking thought-provoking narratives with a fresh perspective.

Stephanie Chapman

Fairchild’s Boom is an intergalactic adventure featuring Onyx’s crew. After a surprise invasion of Earth, Vincenti Merrecci has a crew of special education students that his sister taught at the academy. Despite their odd quirks, he discovers they are better at piloting, strategizing, and navigating than any crew he has flown with in the past. Merrecci listens to the messages that provide him with orders. He receives a promotion to prime admiral and must find a mate for the female god who is aboard the Onyx. The two gods could cause entire galaxies to disappear. Cindy Lou offends Merrecci; however, Bria finds the god intriguing. Cindy Lou instructs them to find the Rhaxians in the Sentrale System. They discover Admiral Kellick, his crew, and Vandebuckte in the ruins of Mabbis and joining the Onyx. Meanwhile, Master Cha’s fleet is relentless in pursuing the Onyx.

Fairchild builds intense intrigue and suspense with the multiple obstacles Merrecci has to overcome. It was easy to see that Merrecci felt overwhelmed by how he misjudged the disabled students. Each character’s appearance and personality are in vivid detail. For example, the number seven consumes Being’s mind. His chair has to be kicked seven times after a torpedo strikes the Onyx before he reacts. This quirk adds an interesting dynamic to the crew’s interactions. Mike was good at engineering; however, he also thought he was a dog. There were several laughable moments of his antics. I found it effortless to follow the transitions between each character’s views. The ending left me speechless with an opening for a sequel that I am eager to read. Boom crosses several genres, including science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and even light romance. This blend of genres creates an unpredictable and unique story that will appeal to readers who enjoy diverse and engaging narratives.

Jaqueline Neves

Fairchild's Boom unfolds in an exhilarating sci-fi adventure similar to Star Trek, featuring Captain Vincenti Merrecci. He is unexpectedly released from prison by Earth's prime admiral to spearhead the preparation of a new ship and crew for an impending war. However, the urgency escalates when The Divide attacks prematurely, forcing Merrecci to form a team with a group of unlikely heroes—the cadets from a program for disabled students, whom he does not believe would make good functional crew members.

Fairchild's narrative prowess shines in Boom, with a plot that unfolds seamlessly, blending military strategy, unexpected alliances, and a cosmic pursuit. The pacing is relentless, keeping readers engrossed with suspenseful twists and turns. Action sequences are vividly portrayed, immersing the audience in the intensity of interstellar warfare. The characters, notably Captain Merrecci, are well-crafted, and their internal conflicts add depth to the storyline. The cadets in the special education program bring humor to the narrative without diminishing the gravity of their disabilities and the challenging treatment they endure from fellow crew members, effectively illustrating the age-old saying: "Don't judge a book by its cover." Fairchild skillfully weaves themes of sacrifice, diversity, and the pursuit of power into the narrative, elevating the story beyond a typical space adventure. The book offers not only a thrilling ride through the cosmos but also thoughtful reflections on societal dynamics and the consequences of wielding immense power. This is a captivating exploration of the human spirit amid the vastness of space, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.