Sunday, March 01, 2015

Edi's Spotlight: Dragon of the Stars by Alex C. Cavanaugh

Dear Readers,

today I have the pleasure to present you my review of a book from an author who originally wanted to write one book.

It all started with  CassaStaR (October 19th,2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0981621067] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  I presented my review on October 17th 2010.

 On December 21st 2011, I presented my review of CassaFirE (February 28th, 2012, pb, 240 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0982713945] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

On September 17th 2013, I presented  my review of CassaStorM (September 17th, 2013) [Print ISBN-13: 978-1939844002] [E-book ISBN-13: 978-1939844019] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
At  the end of the review you could read following question and the answer from the author

Edi: I remember that you wanted to write one book. Today your third book is available which is the conclusion of the Cassa series. Beyond all the joy and happiness there is one question running around my brain like car at the Daytona 500: Do you have more stories to tell and do you want to tell more stories? 

Alex:........ That is a loaded question. Do I have another story I could tell? Yes. Will I write it? I don’t know. Music has always been a part of my life and I strayed from it for so long – now that I am playing guitar and in a band, it seems so natural. It’s where I am supposed to be. Is there room for writing? That I don’t know. I hate to disappoint anyone, but I can’t give a clear answer right now.

It took some time but all  Alex J. Cavanaugh fans did not wait in vain.


Now we have the 1st of March 2015 and in one month you can buy your copy of

Dragon of the Stars (7th April 2015)  [Kindle ASIN: B00S0DPUYU] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

"The ship of legends…
The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. He’s poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. He’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?
One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship? www.whatarethekargrandes.com " [Source]

Review

Clarification
How can I write and  present a review of a book which will be released on 7th of April 2015?
Because publisher Dancing Lemur Press LLC  sent me an unproofed review copy of Dragon of the Stars (7th April 2015)  [Kindle ASIN: B00S0DPUYU] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
The review copy I read for this review stands for 271 pages divided into fifteen consecutive numbered chapters. Of course I tried to avoid spoilers and of course I will not answer the question



Cover
I think I'm not wrong when I assume that the cover shows the legendary Dragon. A while ago Zoltán Gecse from RaveAir  mentioned that the ship looks like a guitar or at least as a part of guitar. Of course I do not know whether this was intended or not. But it would be no surprise  in case you know that Alex J. Cavanaugh is a guitar player.
Nevertheless the cover shows a powerful ship and that this ship will play an important role within the story.


After the successful Cassa trilogy Alex J. Cavanaugh returns with a new space opera.
Is it old wine in new skins?    On the contrary!


Dragon of the Stars is a completely new story and comes along in a more grown up and darker tone.
It is neither hard science fiction nor tough military science fiction. It is a space opera in the best sense.

The story seems simple. Two parties compete for the supremacy over a planet with excellent resources. A legendary ship lost years ago could be the ultimate weapon to decide the conflict.
A young hero is send out to find the ship    full stop.

But  Dragon of the Stars is the new book by Alex J. Cavanaugh and anyone who read the Cassa trilogy knows that nothing is simple when it comes to books by this author.  


Lt. Commander Aden Pendar is son of a Duke. His future is more or less predetermined. To get a command is just a question of time like the marriage with Arabella, the Queen's daughter. Of course he is totally cocksure of himself. He is a well educated and talented officer but not good at leadership and his social skills are beyond average.

His life turns upside down with the conflict between the Alliance and his home world Hyrath which finally ends up in a war.

His predetermined life is going down the drain. The message that his promotion to Captain completely depends on his social and leadership skills hit him like an ice cube.

In fact this message is the end of  Lt. Commander Aden Pendar as we know him so far and the begin of the pregnancy of the new Lt. Commander Aden Pendar.

It is the development of this character which drives the story. The development is inseparably connected with the search for the Dragon

Everything what happens with  and within Aden Pendar is like a mirror of the conflict between the Alliance and Hyrath and the inner conflict of Hyrathian society. There are a lot more conflicts as one think at first sight.

These conflicts emphasize in a striking manner that the world is neither black nor white.

It shows the quality of  Alex J. Cavanaugh to describe battles without going into details but still delivering action.
The most important weapons in this battle - except the Dragon - are honor, love, fidelity, and steadfastness expressed in dialogue and gestures.

And all these conflicts culminate in a gut-wrenching climax in form of existential questions for Aden Pendar and a lot, lot, lot of other beings.

So far it seems that there is just one important character - Aden Pendar. But that is not true.
The story would not work without Cordell Byford and his son, Arabella, Queen Isidore, Councilman Roystonar, Shadvey, engineer Vardy, Captain Fyell, Duke Balderic and more. Stop!!
There is one more person which must be mentioned in a review. Tamsin Pavott.
She is an extraordinary young woman and absolute in her determination to prove herself on every level of her life. Show follows her convictions at all cost.

With that I return to the beginning. I did not mention a word about the Kargrandes. The secret will remain until 7th April 2015.

Until then you should visit

What are the Kargrandes?


Every week you will get a new hint.


Verdict


With Dragon of the Stars Alex J. Cavanaugh delivers a more grown up, more thoughtful and a bit darker story for fans of space opera.It contains  action on every level from space battles over word battles to inner battles.
The mirroring of outer and inner conflicts is intoxicating and will hook you immediately and does not let you go even after you have finished the book. There are questions and decisions which will keep you busy.


Dragon of the Stars is a thrilling space opera with inner and outer conflicts and fascinating characters.






Annotation
After reading four books by Alex J. Cavanaugh I'm sure I finally found out the secret power hidden in the depths of his books. It is the power of love. A love which has nothing to do with romance or sex. It may sound hackneyed. But Look at the core of the characters look at their motivation. Isn't it love in the end which force them to act like they act?
For a better understanding I recommend to read following article:  Love


9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Edi, thank you!
You are the heart of the fans that enjoy my work and I wrote this book with that fact in mind.
Is the core of it all love? It was with my series and yes, it continues here.
Thank you again!

ediFanoB said...

It has been an honor and a great pleasure to read and review The Dragon of the Stars BEFORE 7th April 2015.

Thank you for your kind words.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Edi, what a fantastic overall review for The Dragon Star. It sounds like another winner for Alex!!!

Zoltán Gecse said...

Thanks for the mentioning. However some other fellows also realized the guitar-like form of the spaceship.

Dragon of the Stars is on my "wanted to read" list, and this review is strengthen this intention of me.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Cathrina,

nice to meet you. Thanks for your kind words. I always hope that my reviews are helpful for other readers.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Zoltán,

I don't adorn myself with borrowed plumes.
Therefore it was mandatory for me to mention you in my review.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

To me, the characters make the story and your review shows this. I love to see the character grow and change and how they do it. Thanks for a great review. And one day soon we'll have the answer to the big question. :)

ediFanoB said...

Hello Beverly,
thank you for stopping by and for your kind words.

I stop reading books when I can't connect with a character.



Ted Cross said...

I've been following Alex all these years, yet somehow the fact that he is a musician managed to elude me! This book sounds just like my cup of tea.

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