“Fierce winds raced through the darkened streets of New York City, pushing against the panicked mobs that were desperately trying to flee certain destruction…scores of the city’s inhabitants were obliterated in the concrete hailstorm, leaving dense walls of smoke and dust that quieted all but a smattering of screams that continued to pierce the surrounding darkness.”
S.D. McKee is a sci-fi lover and computer geek with attitude who has fashioned an intriguing universe of organic space vehicles, hostile and deadly forces, and a war that shouts out like current headlines: will Earth be ready for an alien attack? How ready? And who’s in charge, who will oppose an enemy that seems invincible? In short, will the good guys be “Defeated” as the title implies?
Jonathon Quinn, captain of the ICS Intimidator, is in hot pursuit of a plague of unstoppable highly aggressive ships that seem to have been released when an experiment with a wormhole went bad. The ships are huge, vicious, appear to be able to adapt to whatever fire Quinn and his fleet throw at them – and these dark interlopers have it in for Earth and life-as-we-know-it. There are temporary lulls in the battle, and a sense of momentary achievement but in the end Quinn and his crew, including sweetheart Kate, warrior side-kicks Chang and Dead Eye, and the mutinous Jensen, are captured by the mysterious enemy.
From that point, Quinn’s true role and destiny begin to unfold, as he proves himself equal to every test despite his feelings of doubt and discouragement. He learns that he and his faithful companions must first be transformed, most lose their human bodies in fact, in order to conquer the real enemy. In the process, the sinister machinations of Jensen are revealed, and Quinn learns to communicate without words, and “talk” to a mutable wall within the organic mother ship.
The warfare scenario in Defeated is expertly handled, and well balanced with personal vignettes revealing Quinn’s vulnerable side and his private visions. The central characters gradually gain the ability to communicate mentally, adding an extra dimension to the tight-knit plot.
There’s enough adventure, danger, love interest, camaraderie, and techno-detail in Defeated to make the avid reader of the genre clamor for more, and we are certain that McKee stands ready to deliver, since this is only Part One. Write on, McKee.