Starcaster by J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert (Starcaster series book #1)

Synopsis:

Magic. Steel. Blood. Victory.

The Earth’s navy is left drifting among the stars as Nyctus ships swarm, their purpose unknown as they continue their advance, burning one system after another.

Humanity’s extinction seems inevitable.
But on one of the forgotten worlds, a boy is left behind, and he holds a talent unlike anything the galaxy has ever known.

Thorn Stellers is a mage, made to lead and fight. With a renegade division of warriors at his side, and with weapons far different from those of old Earth, Thorn stands a chance at standing up to humanity’s enemies. For these mage-soldiers, armed with power that had once been thought the stuff of legend, the outcome is no longer certain.

Each Starcaster has a talent—except for Thorn, who has many. With his childhood companion Kira Wixcombe, he’ll confront a threat from beyond the stars, meeting them in the darkness with a light born of magic… and a lust for revenge.

Is his power enough? Or is Earth a forgotten memory, lost forever to history?

‘Space’ and ‘War’ isn’t my usual wheelhouse when it comes to books, so it surprised me as much as anyone to be reading a book about a space war. However, Terry Maggert has yet to steer me wrong so I was game to give this a go!

Co-authored by Maggert and Chaney, this book is well written and vast, managing to hold my attention despite war stories being something I usually go out of my way to avoid (genocide makes me sad).

Humanity has spread out across the universe  and an alien race with psychic/telekinetic powers is set on destroying them (fair). A small fraction of humans have similar powers which are being trained up by the military as a last defence; these soldiers are Starcasters.

Thorn, an aspirational he-man, is incredibly talented in the power department and may be humanity’s last hope against an enemy that leaves no survivors. He has something of the Clark Kent/Superman about him with his lack of character flaws and strange acceptance of massive life changes.

The powers themselves are well thought out and explained, this is an interesting blend between fantasy and sci-fi which works really well but my favourite aspect has got the be the particular maliciousness of the aliens – a counterpoint to the extreme wholesomeness of the hero.

As Thorn increases in strength, I’m hoping that he’ll start getting more unsavoury thoughts about vengeance/bloodlust/scowling at puppies or similar to add some more grit to the story. Judging by the synopsis to the sequel, I think I may just be in luck!

I really enjoyed this book and want to see what happens next in the epic battle between humanity and the Nyctus.

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