Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Phoenix Conspiracy - Richard L. Sanders


The Phoenix Conspiracy tells the tale of Calvin Cross, the young captain of a highly advanced stealth warship, as he attempts to track-down an escaped criminal called Raiden, who has seized one of the most powerful warships in the galaxy. As Calvin investigates Raiden however, he begins to wonder why such a highly decorated hero would suddenly throw away his prospering career in the notorious and seemingly meaningless hate crime that he's responsible for, and begins to wonder if something larger and much more sinister than inter-species racism might be going on...

Due to the nature of Calvin's investigation, the Phoenix Conspiracy is relatively unique and reads more like a space-themed mystery adventure than a typical sci-fi story, which could be interesting to readers that usually steer clear of the genre and has the potential to greatly expand Conspiracy's audience base. Sanders also writes in a exciting manner that builds tension and intrigue well throughout the book, which left me desperate to find out what, if anything, was actually going on!

Sanders is also particularly good at using dialogue to tell the events of the story, which makes the book easy to follow and is perfect for 'light' reading'! His vivid characterisation also helps to add a depth to the story and Sanders' characters respond in very believable ways to the events that befall them - helping to add a rich, third dimension to his text. Saying this, Sanders' style does have a major flaw in that his prose often lacks description and he rarely describes the various environments and conditions that surround the characters, which is a shame really because he has a lot of creative freedom to play around with the myriad of colourful locations that Calvin and his crew visit.

Overall however, The Phoenix Conspiracy was very enjoyable to read and provides a fresh, rather innovative perspective on the long-established genre of science fiction. Furthermore, since Sanders is an independent author and wants to get people interested in The Phoenix Conspiracy series, the novel is free from most ebook platforms!

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