Mil­i­tary academy hi­jinks

SFX - - Reviews - Guy Ha­ley

re­leased OUT NOW! 419 pages | Pa­per­back/ebook Au­thor Melinda sn­od­grass Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books

Star­ship Troop­ers with a dash of Sweet Val­ley High, The High Ground takes us into a fu­ture dom­i­nated by the princely de­scen­dants of modern-day cor­po­rate CEOs. Bat­tles with sev­eral ex­trater­res­trial races drove the cre­ation of a feu­dal aris­toc­racy. Now mankind rules the stars, these new toffs are well bed­ded in to so­ci­ety... Un­til now! The Em­peror, short of a male heir, sets the es­tab­lished or­der all-a-wob­ble by send­ing his el­dest daugh­ter to the High Ground, the star­ship academy where the scions of noble houses are trained to dis­charge their mil­i­tary du­ties.

This is the kind of old­fash­ioned, rol­lick­ing space opera that right-wing SF protest groups would love, if there weren’t so many women and non-whites in it. A lit­tle, forced, thought­ful­ness is present in Princess Mercedes’s strug­gle against the es­tab­lished pa­tri­ar­chal or­der, but in the main the US mil­i­tary academy story tem­plate holds sway. Ro­mance comes in the form of Tracy, a scholarship stu­dent who has his own bat­tle against class to fight.

The writ­ing is ini­tially breath­less, but set­tles well. The re­sult is a slickly penned, fun book with solid char­ac­ters. En­ter­tain­ing, though not world-chang­ing.

Melinda Sn­od­grass also wrote sev­eral episodes of Star Trek: TNG – in­clud­ing an episode called “The High Ground”!

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