This novella is Part 1 of a series based on the science fiction computer game Blue Monarch, which is under development by Diadem Studios. Set in a distant future in which humanity has learned hyperspace travel, the main character is sixteen–year–old Emerson Avery. Emerson lives with his family on the planet Entropia at the verge of human–controlled space, amidst a war with the reptilian alien species the Triven. His father Richard and their friend John Reed are scientists working at Obsidian, a Blue Monarch research facility. Blue Monarchs are elite cyborg soldiers with enhanced mental and physical functioning, although they appear ordinary. The novella follows the frantic attempts of the humans to escape when the Triven invade Entropia.
Being a novella and Part 1 of a series, the manuscript is brief. Not only does Part 1 end on a cliffhanger, but also there’s a lot of backstory that needs to be explained later. The story clearly is incomplete and readers will need to read the rest of the series to understand it. For example, there’s an immediate sense that Dr. Richard Avery’s research is ethically questionable, but it’s unclear exactly what he’s studying.
Part 1 follows the archetypes of space frontier fiction. The story does have some slight similarities to that of the game STARCRAFT. In particular, the human cyborg technology has likenesses to that of STARCRAFT Ghosts and Marines. The BLUE MONARCH story could even fit into the STARCRAFT story, if the Triven species and some additional cyborg technology were added. As adversaries, the Triven are poorly understood, dangerous, but not exceptionally frightening among previously written alien villains.
There’s nothing sublime or thought provoking about CERULEAN RISING: BEGINNINGS, but it’s a fun, quick read for those who enjoy traditional science fiction. From beginning to end, there is constant suspense and action. The editing is virtually flawless and the author appears to have done some background research on military terminology.
Reviewed by Christopher James Dubey for IndieReader.