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Reviewed by Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite
Escape Velocity: The Quantum War Book 1 by Jonathan Paul Isaacs is a lightning-fast paced thriller set in space. It starts with First Lieutenant Wyatt Wills sitting in his command chair in an attack spaceship carrying his squad sergeant Laramie and other troops of the Remote Environment Search and Interdiction Teams (RESIT). An alarm sounds the failure of the second of the spacecraft's engines. The RESIT has been sent to salvage a Nitrogen Reclamation Industries site (FENRIS) which had been captured by a rival company, Oxygen Shock Cartel (OSCAR). The ensuing hard-crash landing on the alien planet kills many of the troops, leaving Wyatt trapped under debris. Laramie had not anticipated for the mission to end this way, but without hesitation, she ties a tourniquet around Wyatt’s trapped leg and actually shoots the leg off, leaving a stump. Laramie and the few remaining crew drag Wyatt over a mound under attack continuously by scores of the “Oscars”, and manage to reach the second spaceship and are evacuated.
The development of the story is excellent and completely focused on the theme of action! The author does not waste words and avoids long descriptions of unnecessary background details. The flow is fast paced and events follow each other in smooth succession. Scenes change across alien settings on different planets, with original scenarios and life-threatening battles including hostile telepathy on Juliet, which is Laramie's home planet. Jonathan Paul Isaacs also weaves in flashes of emotion such as Wyatt's sadness over the loss of his crew, and the book has a fair share of episodes of courage and team spirit, exploration of the unknown as well as insights into human psyche. A passage I particularly liked was spoken by a priest: “But if you look closely, you can see God’s fingerprints everywhere. Galaxies out of the emptiness. Light out of darkness. Energy from matter. There’s an elegance that displaces the entropy of the void." This book is well researched, imaginative and manages to instill originality, despite there being a plethora of books with space battles as their theme. I think this author has much to offer and I look forward to reading more from him.