Author: W. Michael Gear
Series: Donovan # 1
Hardcover, 422 Pages
Publication: February 20, 2018 Daw Books
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Donovan: A world of remarkable wealth, habitable, with a breathable atmosphere, water, and a salubrious climate. Call it a dream come true. A dream? Or a nightmare? Donovan's wealth comes at a price. For Donovan lies thirty light years away--a two-year journey that few survive.
When Turalon arrives in orbit, Supervisor Kalico Aguila discovers a failing colony, it's government overthrown, and the few colonists left now gone wild. For Kalico, Donovan offers the chance of a lifetime: one desperate spin of the wheel that will leave her the most powerful woman in the solar system. Or dead.
Planetside, Talina Perez is one the three rulers of Port Authority--the only remnant of a town on Donovan. She's the only law left, and now a Corporate ship has appeared in orbit and is demaning answers about things she's done in the name of survival. Perez is about to lose everything, including her life, when Kalico lands with her Marines. For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he can't wait to set foot on Port Authority. He will make one desperate play to grab a piece of the action. No matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy.
Captain Max Taggart has been The Corporation's "go to" guy when it comes to brutal enforcement. As the situation in Port Authority deteriorates, he'll be faced with committing mass murder in order to dominate the wild Donovanians. Only Talina Perez stands in his way. Or. God forbid, is he getting squeamish in his old age?<
Just as matters spiral out of control, a ghost ship, the Freelander,appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that forewarns any ship from making the return journey to Solar System.
Does anyone dare space back on Turlon with her wealth of ore, ceramic, gems, and gold? Or do they take their chances on a deadly planet that kills three out of four colonists?
And in the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all of them, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game. One whose secrets are hidden in Talia Perez's very blood. A game which will change everything, forever.
The world building for Outpost was impeccably done. Grant painted a world that is both fascinating as it is terrifying. As described by the characters, Donovan is a vast planet filled with endless opportunities; you can mine gold, gem, oil, and so much more. The ecosystem is varied in both species and its weather and yet there were still so much that was unexplored and a smystery to those born three generations later. I always stated this, but character driven novel is what I’m all about. The plot and concept of a novel can be poor or mediocre but if it has an amazing cast and a cast that’s developed/multifaceted I’ll stick around till the end. Outpost had some pretty great characters and the world, Donovan is a character in itself for all the reasons mentioned above. And Grant has barely touch the tip of the iceberg with the world as there is still so much uncharted, undiscovered territories.
Two of the most fascinating characters in Outpost is Talina and Dan. Talina Perez is a soldier on Donovan. She is tough as nail and knows what it takes to live on a planet as dangerous as Donovan. She has the survival skills that is unmatched and what makes her more unique is that she has an alien creature, it’s essence living within her giving her a sixth sense and enables her to adapt more to the environment. Dan Wirth is a psychopath serial killer and a stowaway on Turalon. After killing and stealing another man’s identity, Dan arrives on Donovan hoping to start a new life. Not only did he hit the jackpot on getting a new life but he ends up becoming the richest and most notorious man on Donovan. Scheming, threatening, blackmailing and murdering his way to owning the majority of Donovan. We get an inside look of the mind of a killer and business man and the combination is just jarring.
I really enjoyed Outpost. The world building was complex and expertly done, the characters are interesting and well-developed and the pacing and the plot was just right. All in all, a great start to a brand new series and I can’t wait to read more of it!