Sunday 25 June 2023

Phoenix - Lori Janeski - Carter Files Book 1

The Carter Files Book 1
ISBN 9798365554344
eISBN 9798215427798

Phoenix - Lori Janeski - The Carter Files Book 1

I picked this up for three reasons. First author Declan Finn recommended it, and having read all of his books except one series currently out of print, I needed another read. Second I have been impressed by everything I have read from Tuscany Bay Books to date. And third the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burroughs were some of the first I read after I learned to compensate for my dual form of dyslexia. I loved the cover but did not read anything about the book specifically before beginning it. And it did not disappoint. The description of the book is:

“Humanity has colonized the solar system, but crime still doesn't pay. David Carter is one of the most decorated agents in the Interplanetary Police Forces, but for the last two years, he's turned reckless, throwing himself into his work—or into the path of a criminal's bolt pistol. As a specialist in deception analysis and interrogation, Veronique de Tournay has been right where she wants to be: a profiler in the major cases bureau, Division 7.

Unfortunately, the director has reassigned her to Special Agent Carter, and neither of them are happy about it. After they stop a devastating attack on Mars, meant to kill thousands and cripple interplanetary travel, Carter and de Tournay discover evidence of other subversive attacks in the system. With time running out, the reluctant partners may be the only ones standing in the way of a conspiracy that stretches all the way from Luna to the Saturn Space Station.”

If this volume had been written by Burroughs it would have been three separate stories. Even if it had been by Heinlien, Piers Anthony, Harry Harrrison and others I can think of both from classic Science fiction and modern writers it would have been spilt up into three separate volumes. The volume comes in at 560 pages for the eBook and 549 for the print editions. And it was an adrenalin rush from the first page. I could hardly put the book down, but a bust week at work and friends visiting from out of country forced me to savour this story slowly over time. And I am already itching for the next volume.

In some ways David Carter reminds me of Heninlin’s Lazarus Long, and in others Harry Harrison’s James Bolivar diGriz aka “Slippery Jim” and “The Stainless Steel Rat”. But it also brought to mind both Serenity and Firefly, there is definitely a space western and Mal feel about Carter’s character. His partner Veronique de Tournay is full of surprises. The characters in this story are amazing. The plot is excellent and runs at a breakneck pace nearly from beginning to end. You will find yourself cheering for Carter and de Tournay. The story is pack with great action, fantastic dialogue, tremendous suspense, and surprising plot twists. I appreciate greatly the name of Carter’s parent’s pub. And I love the fast talking Irish mom. This Irish Catholic Cop in space is masterfully executed.

The difference between this story and some of the classic sci-fi authors and books previously mentioned is world view. Janeski writes with a Christian or Catholic world view. And as such the story is much cleaner than many I read in my youth or that are available today. It is a volume I would not hesitate to give to my 15 year old son or even my 13 year old daughter. It is a much better story morally, and to be honest better written than much of what I read in my youth. In some ways this is space opera and in other police procedural or mystery novel. But no matter the category you put it in it is a fantastic read. Before I had even finished this book I looked to see what else Janeski had published, I already had the Planetary Anthology Luna but had not read it yet and also picked up the Freedom's Light: Short Stories anthology to tide me over until the next volume in this series releases. 

This is a book I can easily recommend and give my highest praise, for as soon as I finished it I put it back in my to be read pile to circle back and read it again. A great read for fans of science fiction, mysteries, crime procedurals or really anyone who just wants to sit down with a big book and enjoy a great story. C.S. Lewis once quipped that “No tea cup is big enough nor book long enough for me to be satisfied.” this one is close. Pick it up I am certain it will entertain!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!
For reviews of all books from Tuscany Bay click here.

Books by Lori Janeski:
The Carter Files:
02 Raven 

Contributed to:
Freedom's Light: Short Stories
Luna: Planetary Anthology
Space Marines III

Phoenix - Lori Janeski - The Carter Files Book 1

Luna: Planetary Anthology Edited Declan Finn

Freedom's Light: Short Stories Anthology

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