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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Ivan Ertlov's Generation 23: Hallowed Be Thy Noble Name begins in the extremely distant future that is not so reassuring. After Earth succumbed to the impact of the giant asteroid Goliath, those who survived went aboard generation ships in search of another habitable planet. The ship Trappist is the 23rd generation to venture into the unknown. Here you get an immediate look at a day in the life of Justiciar Maria Gomez. She is an Indispensable and one of the appointed Justices whose mandate is to implement the will of the council of the Nobles. The Nobles have given her the power to judge mercy and hardship, life and death, and if necessary, to take a life single-handedly if it could not be avoided. This is how a system of order is established within the ship. But Maria’s privileged status changes when she investigates Felicia Cauler, a chicken thief, and kills Hendryck Swarosz, a member of a de-nobled family and a steward of the workforce reserve.
From a reading perspective, Generation 23 is thrilling and evocative as it provides concrete imagery so that you can imagine what the Trappist ship looks like in actuality. You can feel the smells of its lower levels where the majority of the agricultural workforce is confined. You can taste the obscene opulence of the Nobles by merely reading how the less privileged talk about them. Ertlov knows how to put color and excitement into the desolate frontier of space by operating on the notion that even the noblest intentions are fraught with dark schemes. Problems of inequality become even more pronounced as it is driven by the survival of the fittest. As the first book in the Goliath Chronicles Series, this book concludes with violence and fury, and this is good. It suggests triumphs and terrors that you will look forward to in the next installment.