The Shadow of a Dragon
The Langsyne Chronicles Book One
by Jonathan Christopher
ISBN-13: 9780981517902 (Trade Paperback)
Pub. Date: January 2008
The VSS Columbia is suddenly sucked out of hyperspace by a mysterious gravity field. Having not clues as to who or why, Captain Tolo orders a scan of surrounding space. Just within shuttle range is a small ship that appears to be a derelict. Tolo sends over a boarding party to reconnoiter the small vessel. An uneasy feeling settles over the ship’s crew, something’s wrong here, something very, very wrong. Little do they know what danger is about to befall them.
Lt. Commander Thorothar and his three men crew manage to get into the derelict and proceed to do a steady search of the vessel. They discover a lifepod and one occupant. When they activate the pod, things begin to go wrong. Suddenly Columbia explodes and the boarding party find that the mysterious Darians had generated a rift in space. The occupant of the lifepod, Draconis Zsi, comes out of his hypersleep with just enough sense to get his ship going and out of the Darians way. But not before a fragment from the exploding Columbia penetrates the ship’s hull and sends it out of control.
Zsi’s ship cannot maintain a rushed escape and they are forced down in a star system with three worlds orbiting close to one another. They’re troubles have only just begun. While trying to make repairs to Zsi’s ship, the survivors of Columbia and Zsi are forced to deal with a deadly monster. Zsi is severely wounded in the attack and Mendez, one of the boarding party, is lucky enough to kill the beast, but not before being attacked by Amazons. The female warriors of the planet capture Mendez and Zsi. They are taken back to the palace for questioning. Lt. Thorothar and the two other boarding party members were out in the forest when the attack happened and now have to find out what became of their comrades.
Christopher’s book has some intriguing concepts and the action keeps the book moving at a good pace. The language of the Amazons is handled well and as the action progresses the eventual understanding comes into play. This is a fascinating story with some twists and turns along the way. It will be interesting to see how the series progress. For the most part a good story with some intriguing themes.–Mark Randell, Y-30 Staff