A United National Forces (UNF) Space Patrol crack team is dispatched to a deadly and secretive corner of space to investigate a breakdown of communication at a classified government facility known to have been dabbling in dangerous scientific experiments. Aboard the Aurora, Captain Saul Harris knows this isn’t a simple mission – for one, he’s been given three additional crew members; all female, something unique to space patrol, secondly; command are sketchy on the details of the communications breakdown and have an open reluctance to divulging information about the facility and the research/breakthroughs made deep in the outer limits.
The newcomers, lead by Carrie Welles, the main member of the group to feature prominently in proceedings, find themselves victims of inexperience and gender segregation as the male members of the Aurora test and taunt the new recruits to determine their mettle and capacity to do more than cook and clean. Welles and co bridge the gender divide by pure will and determination. In a world/universe of hard men and hard action, these women bring brass balls and a dead aim.
Author Amanda Bridgeman has provided readers with a plausible space story that’s grounded by its deep characterisation and tension filled plot. From the moment the crew of the Aurora disembark from Earth, the palpable and ever impending sense of doom kicks into gear. Never knowing what’s around the corner, where the threat will arise or from whom heightens the anticipation for action and blood curdling terror – in which Bridgeman delivers in spades.
I didn’t know what to expect from AURORA: DARWIN and found myself instantly hooked on the premise and impressed by the delivery. Each character brings something to the table, from Doc, Harris, Welles, to Command – all elements in a broader game of deceit, violence, and cover-up. Utterly addictive.
The follow-up, AURORA: PEGASUS was released in December 2013 and has shot near the top of my TBR.