The Silver Ships is a rather heavy handed and fairly improbable Marty Stu type of story: everyone (male, female, even the computer AI) fall madly in love with our 20 something young super genius while he manages to save the universe not once but several times (through his superior intellect, of course). The fawning is nonstop here – he made his family millionaires, wows the women with his studly physique, makes every man want to be him, and even has the government issuing him carte blanche authority in their adulation of his prowess. Underpining (hindering? obfuscating? overpowering?) the somewhat silly characterizations is heavy handed soapboxing about right wing politics and various other viewpoints.
Story: Alex reinvented a physics maneuver that allowed him to make his mining family millionaires. He still goes out mining by himself, though, in his small ship Outward Bound. One day, he finds a battle damaged alien ship, nearly dies trying to recover it, and then finds that it is populated with hypersleeping humans waking up after 70 years (he saves their AI and then their ship, of course). Separated from earth 700 years ago (‘long lost cousins’), they all have French names but don’t speak French. Together, Alex and the new humans debate about a new alien menace against the humans – the silver ships. Together with the Francofied lost cousins, Alex will rise to admiral, create his own house in the foreign culture, and woo the beautiful alien ‘princess’ into sleeping with him.
All Marty Stu aside, the writing wasn’t well done here. POVs shift constantly, paragraph by paragraph, and action scenes are sketchy at best (glossed over at worst). Coupled with the improbability of the characterizations and it made for a very boring and flat read. E.g., our supergenius nearly dies from some maneuver to hook up with the alien ship (I can’t even remember why he had to do it that way) – and he will be feted forever by the alien human crew for that feat of ‘bravery’ (wouldn’t it have been smarter to signal back and wait for more ships to come help?). There were so many scenes, with jumping points right and left between character thoughts, that I just couldn’t get into anything that was said or done. E.g., a character will die stupidly (the only casualty) because he’s a right wing conservative hot head – and then we move on randomly after a quick eulogy – what was the point?) I started skimming.
What we have here has been done before – and somewhat better – in books like Evan Currie’s Odyssey One series. I would have needed much more to remain invested and continuing in this series – certainly, though, one has to wonder if by the end of book 2, main character Alex will become King of the new world, then master of the universe, then a God by book 3. That’s the trajectory set by book 1. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.