Saturday, June 11, 2011

Osguards Rule

Book Review On  Revelations - Osguards: Guardians of the Universe
Ronald T. Jones, Author
Chronicles of the Liberator

In Osguard: Homecoming, the first book in a series of space adventures by Malcolm Dylan Petteway, we're introduced to an African American family descended from two slave sisters who came from a far off land...a land that happened to be on another planet called Chaktun. The sisters would survive the horrendous ordeal of American slavery and go on to found a vast interstellar alliance comprising sixty galaxies. The Osguards are the leaders of the Universal Science Security and Trade Association of Planets. This is the Star Wars' Empire on steroids. In fact Palpatine would have to think more than twice before even contemplating an attack on this multi-galaxy colossus.

We were also introduced to USSTAP's enemy, the Kulusk Empire, and its ambitious war mongering leader, Kie Ritchen. Battle lines were drawn in Book One and the two powers clashed in a war waged on many fronts, including Earth. In Osguards: Revelations, Malcolm's second installment, that war has taken a particularly deadly turn when Kie Ritchen launches a biological attack against USSTAP's capitol. The bioagent used in the attack threatens to wipe out USSTAP's command and control, leaving the organization wide open for annihilation at the hands of the Kulusks. Jaunita Genesis-Clark is the only Osguard not incapacitated by the agent. An antidote exists, but she must travel on a perilous journey to the very heart of the Kulusk Empire to obtain it. At the same time, she must deal with the murder of her young cousin on Earth and confront the estrangement of a jealous relative.

Malcolm switches seamlessly between Earth bound issues of violent crime on the streets of Shreveport, Louisiana and war and intrigue in far distant parts of the universe. The scope of this riveting tale is not limited to spatial. Malcolm takes us on a trip through time, back to the latter 19th century, 20 years after the ashes of the Civil War had settled. In a sustained flashback, we follow the heir to the Kulusk throne and his brother as they travel to Earth, sent by their father to eliminate the descendants of the Chaktun sisters. Here, Malcolm does a fantastic job of weaving science fiction and history, as he ties in the African American experience during post Reconstruction with the Kulusk brothers' murderous efforts to track down their quarry.

And then there is a 21st century U.S.president's unraveling attempt to contain the secret that is USSTAP. On top of that, USSTAP is faced with yet another threat...

There is a lot going on in Book Two. Malcolm has upped the ante and increased the stakes. Once again, the action is rapid and adrenaline-raising, the characters, rendered with fine strokes of depth, and the settings, wondrous. Another plus about Revelations, is its throwback appeal. It has a Golden Age science fiction quality that will definitely attract fans of that era as well the techno aspect that will draw in the Tom Clancy crowd. Osguards: Revelations is a must read. I fully expect Book Three to crank it up further.

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