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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Captain Taylor Ray and his small crew of three are on a four-year mission to search the outer reaches of the galaxy for any remnants of the conquered Hedalt, an alien species against whom Earth has fought a terrible war. The Contingency, by author G.J. Ogden, tells how the crew receive a faint anomalous signal from a nearby planetary system and, believing it to be an old Hedalt beacon, they decide to investigate. Making landfall and after negotiating an ancient lava tube, they find what appears to be a long-deserted underground space station housing a large number of ships, repair shops, and equipment. Shockingly, they also find stasis tubes containing the long-dead remains of Hedalt troopers - at least, that is how it appears until an empty stasis tube is discovered. So begins a desperate firefight - a fight against a seemingly invincible foe, but a fight that in the end leads to an astounding turn of events. Not to give away too much of the plot, I will simply say that from this point the narrative takes an astonishing and unexpected turn and we find that far from being over, as Captain Taylor Ray and his crew believed, the war against the Hedalt has hardly begun.
The Contingency is classic space opera, though I must say that G.J. Ogden has included some cunning twists in his tale which managed to surprise even this experienced reviewer. The book is well-written, with a pace just a little slower than average in places. The characters are solid, rounded and believable and the situations, though sometimes necessarily complex, are lucidly described. As a fan of the genre, I enjoyed The Contingency. I think G.J. Ogden has launched what I believe will be a very successful new series. Highly recommended - sci-fi fans will not be disappointed with this novel.