Space cruise liner captain Les Miller is about to leave for a routine space tour when a wild -eyed man confronts him. He mustn’t take the Jewel into space, the man says, because something terrible will happen. What does one do when confronted by a wild eyed psycho? One calls security and gets on with one’s responsibilities, of course. But when Earth falls to alien invaders, the cruise ship may be humanity’s last hope. Unfortunately, this isn’t some expertly assembled military force or colony. They’re just a group of regular Joes on vacation who happened to be in the right place at the right time.
No regulations cover alien invaders. Captain Les Miller has built his record of outstanding service by doing everything by the book, but his beloved regulations become not only useless, but also a liability in the face of alien attack. When his cruise ship becomes a target, he’ll have to find a way to not only defend her, but contain the rising anxiety of the passengers.
Former Commander Braxton White was honorably discharged, on the condition that he never work in space again. That might be just as well, since he’s not especially good at following orders. Dalia Spring, the billionaire that was the architect of his fall from the military, has decided to hold court on the Jewel. The captain wasn’t consulted. But is a vacation all she has planned?
Haylee Scott just wanted a quiet getaway with her husband and two children. She never wanted to be dragged into a battle for survival against aliens, but she’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the Jewel, and her family, safe.
This book features an ensemble cast, an inventive concept, some really well executed action scenes and characters with depth. In some ways it reminded me of Bablyon 5, one of my favorite shows. Though the author’s Christian worldview permeated the story, there was nothing overtly religious about Episode 1. When I first bought Jewel of the Stars, I was so busy that I couldn’t get into it. When I picked it up again, though, it was hard to put down. I read it in two nights, almost unheard of for this busy homeschool mom. It really does come across like a TV show- I can see it actually being made into one some day. I especially enjoyed the authentic Australian accents of some of the characters. Since the author is from Tasmania, I’m pretty sure they were done right. I’ve always wanted to go vacation with kangaroos, but tickets to Down Under are so expensive! My fare to come aboard the Jewel was considerably cheaper.
Not that it’s perfect. There were a few clunky bits of dialogue. Like a TV show, it isn’t that long, and not everything is resolved by the end of the first episode. There were some plot threads that had lots of foreshadowing, but the main part of the thread never appeared- reserved, no doubt, for a future episode. Normally I detest cliffhangers, but this doesnt really feel like one because with the TV show format, I already understood that the story wouldnt be over after episode 1. I’ve already bought the second episode and am planning to read it too. The third episode is now on pre-order, and I will probably buy it, too.
Heat: an advertisement is briefly described that features a woman naked from the back. A married couple make mildly earthy jokes about um, what married couples do. A small amount of mild kissing. There’s a newly married couple on their honeymoon.
Violence: Mild. Humans fighting with aliens. Nothing gory or gratuitous.
Age Recommendation: 16+, due to the mature themes (see heat section).
Disclaimer: Adam Collings is an author friend of mine, and I’m appearing on his YouTube show to help him promote book three. He has also reviewed my book.
Jewel of the Stars Episode 1 is available on Amazon, Kobo, and probably several other places as well. Episode 2 is already available (and yes, I’m almost finished devouring it too) and Episode 3 is already available for preorder. Highly recommend enjoying this one- just watch out for the cinnamon.
Image credit: Alan Frijins
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