Recently I met a new Science Fiction author: Diann T. Read. I'm so overjoyed when I find great new authors in this genre. I was especially glad to see that the woman can WRITE!
I got her Sergey Chronicles Omnibus (three books in one) and despite a trip out of state and the lure of a new baby, couldn't put it down. Every night I'd take up my guilty pleasure and read into the wee hours of the morning, only to be woken up at the crack of dawn by the kids.
The Sergey Chronicles ROCKED!
(Don't read the section in red if you don't want a few spoilers.)
The story is set in the future and spans several systems. Intrigue, plotting, galactic domination, and assassinations oh my! The Sergey family has been separated by kidnappers. Because of the kidnappers' inability to correctly navigate through a jump, they are thrust seven years into the future, ruining efforts Lujan Sergey for their apprehension. He spends the next fifteen years thinking that his family didn't survive.
Darcie Dartmouth and their son, Tristan, have escaped to Ganwold. There they settle with a primitive tribe until Darcie contacts a virulent and very deadly virus. Tristan must go against all his instincts, knowledge, and training to seek out his father on a distant planet.
On the planet Issel, Tristan encounters none other than his father's enemy and becomes embroiled in a plot to bring down Admiral Lujan, who is in charge of the galaxy's elite fighting force, plus several other key people, and eventually the United Worlds government.
Luckily Tristan is not the kind of boy who falls for just any old story. Despite his abuse at the hand of his captor, he manages to escape and alert his father.
Issel launches a war against the United Worlds. The shadowy puppetmasters behind the scenes have further designs. They work to thrust Issel back into the arms of the United Worlds.
However, there is someone still further back controlling the puppet-masters. Can Lujan rise above his wounds and limitations to discover what is going on before the shadowy figures wreak total havoc on the galaxy?
Diann puts the reader smack dab in the center of the action. We ache with Tristan as he tries to work out the problems he has between his upbringing and the confusing and dangerous life into which he stumbles. We wonder if he'll be able to save his mother's life. We wonder how Lujan can possibly survive against apparently insurmountable odds and then work to sever the arms of the octopus-like shadow master before they can destroy all he holds dear.
Everywhere Diann's military background is evident, giving spice and believability to her work. She doesn't just toss her characters out into the stars for some swashbuckling fun. She takes us through Tristan's training both in martial arts, and in pilot training; and Lujan's command and recovery. Things are difficult and messy and there are no easy fixes in these books.
If you're a Diann Read hero and you want to get from point A to point C you still have to trudge through point B while suffering excruciating pain and shooting your way through. And you won't feel fine about killing people to do it.
I would like to see Diann add another book. I'd like to see Tristan join his father's unit (the Spherzah), work through his problems, and go back to flying. Does he build something with Kersce?
I think Darcie Dartmouth should have her own book. She's such a great, strong woman. She raises her son in a primitive society while still assuring that he can still function somewhat in the outside world. She successfully helps to bring her husband back from the brink of death and functional life, all while still going to school to improve her medical credentials. We need a book from her perspective and celebrating her unique strengths and weaknesses.
I want to see Lujan rise again. Certainly there's more to do than just stop the assembly from voting one time. He's got work to do. He has to prove he can't be brought down by slimey bottom-dwellers.
Also there is a matter of remaining trash to haul out. Remarq is still out there working things from the wings. Somebody in the Sergey family needs to silence him forever. Will that happen?
All the speculation aside, I enjoyed the Sergey Chronicles to the hilt. They kept me engaged and entertained, and I fell in love with the believable, intelligently written, strong-but-not-impervious characters. I can't wait to read more.
About Diann T. Read and Her Books
Originally from northern Utah, Diann Thornley wrote her first story at the age of five and never stopped writing. She taught herself to type—with two fingers—on her father’s ancient manual typewriter at the age of six because it was faster than pushing a pencil. After winning a statewide writing contest, junior high division, at the age of fourteen, she began her first novel, which was based on the Arthurian legends. This endeavor filled most of her high school years and freshman year of college, until a handful of friends introduced her to science fiction by “kidnapping” her to go see an obscure little movie called Star Wars. The rest, as they say, is history.
Ganwold’s Child, first book of the The Sergey Chronicles, took seven years to complete, due to completing college and entering the U.S. Air Force. Following a year-long tour of duty in the Republic of Korea, Diann finished Ganwold’s Child while stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. Echoes of Issel and Dominion’s Reach, the second and third books in the Sergey trilogy, were also written in Ohio.
Diann transitioned into the Air Force Reserves following Desert Storm, but her military career spanned 23 years and included deployments to Bosnia and Iraq. In December 2000 she married Jon Read, NASA rocket scientist and martial artist, and moved to Texas. Diann retired from the Air Force in June 2009 to return to her writing career and spend more time with Jon.
Check out Diann’s website at www.diannthornleyread.com, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Diann-T-Read/291193624316145?ref=hl, follow her blog, “Hero Journeys,” at www.diannread.wordpress.com and on Twitter @DiannTRead, and find her books on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/diann.t.read Diann is also on Goodreads.
For Parents & Teachers
Diann wasn’t blessed with kids of her own, but she and Jon have nearly 40 nieces and nephews, and she teaches kids at church. She’s also had a warm spot in her heart for the American Indians as far back as she can remember, a warmth and appreciation that was deepened by having a Navajo foster brother during several years of her youth.
Diann writes, “I look at the youth of today and I know who they are. I see their potential as children of a loving God even when they don’t, when their circumstances may give them no reason to believe in God. I see what the world is becoming and the terrible challenges these kids face, especially non-Anglo kids. Do they have any inkling of how precious they are? Far too many of them don’t. It breaks my heart to know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among American Indian kids.
“With my books I hope to reach out to kids from difficult backgrounds, kids who struggle with their self-worth—especially boys, for whom there’s very little fiction available in the young adult market, but also to girls. I want to provide kids with heroes who maintain their integrity and moral values in the face of tremendous odds, even at great risk to themselves. I want kids to see that no matter where they’ve come from, no matter how terribly they have been abused or disadvantaged, their lives have worth and purpose, and they, like Ku (who would be American Indian if he came from our world) and Derry (who has her own tragic history) can overcome and discover their divine worth and potential.
“While I especially hope to encourage, inspire, and motivate at-risk kids, I hope adult readers will find new meaning for their lives as well.”
The Sergey Chronicles
When Tor Books originally published this trilogy in the late 1990s it was called The Saga of the Unified Worlds. It would have been more accurate to call it The Sergey Chronicles because it is, more than anything else, the story of one warrior family—Admiral Lujan Ansellic Sergey, his combat surgeon wife Captain Darcie Dartmuth, and their teenage son, Tristan Sergey—who become caught at the fulcrum of interstellar politics and the demands of their military duty. Wrenched apart and scattered across the galaxy by the brutalities of war, they face captivity, torture, coercion, and epic space battles to be reunited. Only then do their most devastating challenges begin. Having been separated by decades of time as well as lightyears of distance, each of them must confront his or her internal demons to make their family truly whole again, and to defeat a new and more insidious threat to their civilization. Between deadly special operations missions and scenes of deep-cover political intrigue runs a thread that proves how much one family can accomplish with patience, forgiveness, trust, dedication, and unity of purpose. The Sergey Chronicles are all available on Kindle at www.amazon.com/author/diann.t.read and will be available on Nook in early March.