By Don Jastrebski
Don Jastrebski, $9.99, 157 pages
Mace Crimson and Brutus Callous are members of the UO – Universal Order – a peacekeeping organization that protects the “verse” (universe). In the face of near-deadly odds, the heroes use luck and gut instincts to track a ghost of a warlord. Author Don Jastrebski’s book Galactic Battlefront: Chronicles of a UO Soldier is divided into three stories – The Bridge of Valeena, One Little Problem and Lost Asteroid. It is abundantly clear that the author has thoroughly enjoyed creating the entire Galactic Battlefront world including characters, weapons, ships, planets, species and fighting techniques.
When it comes to the author’s dialogue style, there isn’t much variation. The characters are often given huge chunks of information to say (half page paragraphs or more). This is a lot to digest in dialogue format. The text switches back and forth between past and present tense, often in the same sentence. Frequent grammar mistakes are quite distracting and readers may find themselves editing while they read.
“Save the innocent and punish the wicked.”
While there are distractions, Jastrebski’s love for the world he has created and all the characters that inhabit it shines through on each page. His enthusiasm for the craft of writing is evident as readers uncover plot twists and turns and discover new species and adventures. The author has so much going for him – a unique story with heroic main characters, a fearsome (but invisible) enemy and top-ranking military officials who don’t believe he exists – but all of this is put in major jeopardy by a terrible editing job.
There is very little character development within the actual book but the author’s website (www.gbuniverse.com) does have a page featuring a character list with detailed background information. The website has a prequel story, Siege of the Golden City, which Jastrebski summarizes in the introduction of Galactic Battlefront in case readers don’t have online access. Jastrebski plans to write more about this unique fictional world.
Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin