The Trecian Witch and the Imperial Admiral! An ICOPE Story
by John R. Carden
PageTurner Press and Media

"…he would fly, fight, and command fleets far beyond the stars; just like he had before his family was murdered!"

Ryan Baxter, Admiral of Admirals of the interstellar fleet, is retiring. After serving with distinction for centuries, Ryan feels he needs to step down, partially because he has not found a successful way to deal with the deaths of his wife and children at the hands of the Reptiloid, Thud. He chooses to live on a distant planet whose technology is far behind that of his own world. That planet is Earth. Ryan quickly settles in as a standard earthling and becomes a world-class socialite and traveler. Ryan never expected that his retirement would lead him to become entangled with another planetary stowaway, a Trecian witch, nor that he would eventually join this small planet's fledging space force and find himself face to face with Thud.

Carden's book has all the trappings that a science fiction reader looks for. He writes about advanced technologies, alien beings, space witches, starships, AI, and holograms. The passages where Ryan is flying and pushing his ship to new extremes are particularly rousing. Also, the inventiveness of the technology and how it is used is another area where Carden shines. A few grammatical errors and grammar choices detract from the reading, but these issues are easy to get past. Additionally, this book seems to parallel Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea in that it offers an alternate method of dealing with the major conflict rather than the battle most readers will expect. A reader who prefers character-centered stories and loves the science fiction setting and jargon will likely find a book to keep their interest from the first page to the last.

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