The Terrans (First Salik War #1)
by Jean Johnson
What is it about:
Born into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator—but the universe has other plans...
Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity—a psychic soldier or a politician.
But Jackie is both.
After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans—as if their war against humanity had already begun...
What did I think of it:
I read the first book in Johnson's Theirs Not to Reason Why series, and although I liked the world building and writing, I didn't connect with the lead character. So I decided to try this series. It's set in the same universe, but with a different lead.
And this book starts out really nice. I liked Jackie, I liked most of her crew, and I liked the world building. There was a bit of stretched out blah at the start of the book, but the premise had to be set.
Then they meet the evil Salik!
Those turned out to be froglike aliens with tentacle arms who like to eat their enemies while they're still alive. I was really getting into the story by this point, only to discover that the Salik were just a short interlude before this story turned into 'earth-humans meet related space-humans and they try to learn from each other'.
Still, the writing and story were still pleasant enough to continue, even though this turned out to be a much different story than I expected.
Then they reach Earth and the blah started up again!
I will confess I started skimming. Page after page there was political blah that dragged on and on! I was starting to hope the Salik would find Earth and start eating everyone just to put an end to all the unnecessary talking.
All in all I think I will have to admit that Johnson's books are not for me. I most probably will not pick up other books in this series, especially since I saw a review of book 2 that said it didn't have as much action as this one...
I will confess I am a bit curious if some things I predict will happen in book 2, will actually happen, so if I ever do see book 2 on sale I might cave.
Why should you read it:
It's a nice SF story about first contact between two groups of humans.