Review — Stardogs by Dave Freer

I don’t often do reviews on this blog. The truth is, I’ve been so busy between real life and work that I haven’t had the chance to read for pleasure much over the last year or so. However, last week the wonderful Dave Freer asked if I wanted to read his soon-to-be-released novel Stardogs. Now, imagine me bouncing up and down like a little girl, clapping my hands and squealing in glee. Yep, that was the reaction I had to the offer and I was quick to thank Dave and ask him to send it on.

Stardogs is Dave’s first full-length indie novel. Here’s the description:

Revolution rises! 

The Interstellar Empire of Man was built on the enslavement of the gentle Stardogs, companions and Theta-space transporters of the vanished Denaari Dominion. But the Stardogs that humans found can’t go home to breed, and are slowly dying out. 

As the ruthless Empire collapses from its rotten core outward, an Imperial barge is trapped on top of a dying Stardog when an attempted hijacking and assassination go horribly wrong. Trying to save its human cargo, the Stardog flees to the last place anyone expected – the long-lost Denaari motherworld. 

Crawling from the crash are the Leaguesmen who control the Stardogs’ pilots by fear and force, and plan to assassinate Princess Shari, the criminal Yak gang, who want to kill everyone and take control of a rare Stardog for their own, and an entourage riddled with plots, poisons, and treason. But Shari and her assassin-bodyguard have plans of their own… 

Stranded on the Denaari Motherworld, the castaway survivors will have to cooperate to survive. Some will have to die. 

And some, if they make it to the Stardogs breeding ground, will have to learn what it means to love.

Stardogs is one of those rare books that caught me from the very first page and held my attention throughout. Dave’s wit and sense of humor are integral parts of the story, but often so subtle that you realize pages, or even chapters, later what he did. Then you don’t know whether to laugh aloud or smack yourself on the forehead for missing it.

If you are looking for a book that simply regurgitates the plot of the latest fad, this isn’t it. Nor is it a book that embraces the current cause du jour of either side of the aisle. What it is, is a rollicking fun ride through a universe I wish really did exist with characters I came to love — and hate in some instances. This is a book that will make you smile and that will also make you think without hitting you over the head with any sort of a message other than “read me. You know you want to.”  😉

I guess the best thing I can say about Stardogs is that I will be reading it a second, third and who know how many more times. I’ll also be sending it to my son to read. If you love well-written, well-plotted and just down right fun books, this is one for you.

In other words, hie thee to your nearest bookseller and get your copy. It is out as an e-book now and will soon be available in print.

This is most definitely a must read for every true science fiction fan.

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