Tor, Dec 2001, 27.95, 491 pp.
By the twenty-fourth century, Earth has met other species and are forming colonies. However, one alien race, the Zor, feel the earthlings are an inferior breed and for over half a century, battles between the Zor and the earth colonies have occurred usually resulting in the Homo sapiens tasting defeat.
In 2311, the Zor decide to exterminate the vermin forcing the earth leadership to not only take notice, but to counteract. Desperate, Emperor Alexander appoints Marais, a self-proclaimed expert on the Zor, to take command of the Space Navy, normally run by wealthy aristocrats. Marais believes that peaceful coexistence cannot happen because the Zor will fight to the end. His plan is to take the war to the Zor and exterminate them. When Commodore Sergei Torrijos and his crew begin to win battles for the first time, the earth-bound politicians accuse Marais of genocide. Still even with their first victories, the future looks bleak for both races if they fail to find a common ground of peace.
THE DARK WING is an exciting interstellar military science fiction thriller that remains at hyper speed throughout the novel. The story line is fast-paced and the earth and its colonies seem authentic due to the varying reactions of individuals to the crisis. Though the Zor are not developed enough or shrouded in mystery to accept them as a challenge to humanity, readers will relish this strong futuristic entry and want debut author Walter H. Hunt to provide more tales set in this intriguing environment.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner