Welcome to Books I Liked, a series of blog posts in which I talk about the best of what I’ve been reading.
I went to C2E2 in March and picked up a copy of Trident’s Forge before it was on sale to the general public. Be jealous. Trident’s Forge is the sequel to The Ark (which I talk about here). As I mentioned previously, The Ark felt complete, so I was curious to see what a sequel would bring.
Turns out, Patrick S. Tomlinson has spun a nice web of intrigue around a first contact story. The Atlantians are well created. Their evolution feels purposeful, and every part of them seems to have a logical point of origin. Very well done. What I like best about this, though, is that Tomlinson doesn’t shy away from our cultural baggage when it comes to taking over a land that’s already occupied. This is why I’m not usually a fan of first contact stories. They have a tendency to focus on the “cool new alien” aspect and ignore the ethical issues that come with the territory. Tomlinson has put those issues right at the center of the conflict. Bravo, sir, bravo.
Theresa (main character Brian’s girlfriend from Book 1) has been upgraded to a point of view character in this book, and I couldn’t be happier. I do love my strong female characters, and Theresa is strong enough to carry a book by herself.
There’s also a little bonus short story at the end that explains how Brian’s ancestors cheated their way onto the Ark two hundred years before the first book. The story ties into the themes in Trident’s Forge, so it feels like a purposeful addition rather than just something tossed in for fun.
Overall, Trident’s Forge is a strong sequel that stands on its own merits. Check it out and then join me in the wait for Book 3.
Find out more about Trident’s Forge here.