Review: The Wolf Star by R. M. Meluch

The Wolf Star by R M Meluch
The Wolf Star by R M Meluch

The Wolf Star
R. M. Meluch
DAW, 2007

The Wolf Star, the second book in the, Tour of the Merrimackpicks up right after The Myriad. If you haven’t read The Myriad I honestly suggest that you stop reading this review now as any information about The Wolf Star will spoil the major twist towards the close of The Myriad. Consider this ample forwarning of major spoilers from the first book.

Things were irreprably changed in The Myraid. What was no longer is and while what we discovered about the crew of the Merrimack remains to true to an extent time has shifted and the decisions characters make in The Wolf Star an informed under the influence of an entirely, or mostly, different timeline. Out on patrol with her sister ship the Monitor, the Merrimack finds herself under attack from Pallantine forces. Discovering that their systems have been compromised and the Monitor has gone missing the crew of the Merrimack sets forth on a rescue mission. That rescue mission snowballs into something bigger much bigger.

Thinking back on my time with The Wolf Star I was less cognizant of precicely how much happened over the course of the novel. While reading I was completely absorbed with the action and it is only now in hindsight that I realize precisely how much actually occurred. The Wolf Star is a novel absolutely packed to the gills with action from skin of the teeth rescues, military trials, the revelation of familiar enemies, to epic space combat The Wolf Star does everything and does it with style to spare while never batting an eye.

Where as The Myriad dropped readers into the action almost immediately The Wolf Star rolls things back a little bit thanks primarily to the changes caused by The Myriad’s conclusion. As a result readers get to see the Merrimack at a more formative stage. Readers get to witness John Faragut’s decision to equip his soldiers with swords, get to meet the whole Farragut clan (seeing the Captain’s relationship with his father provided some solid insight into his character), and get some deeper understanding about Jose Maria de Cordillera’s presence on the ship (he doesn’t appear until much later in The Wolf Star).

The fun part of The Wolf Star is that readers get to witness first hand events mentioned in passing during The Myriad. Due to the disruption in time found in the Myriad system those events an unfolding at a different pace than in the previous timeline though it appears many of the events are similar to those mentioned in the first novel. I won’t lie but I’m still smarting from the loss of Augustus and am anxious to see his return and the complicated superiority of the Romans thrown against the brick wall of Farragut’s confidence and swagger made for some damned interesting reading. Thankfully we get to see Farragut interact with a whole mess load of Romans in The Wolf Star.

Last but certainly not least The Wolf Star reintroduces The Hive. As inscrutable and as inhuman as ever they make a truly terrifying villain and the revelation of their existence impacts the novel, and the series, in interesting ways. R. M. Meluch’s Tour of the Merrimack is a consistently entertaining series and The Wolf Star, despite everything that is crammed into it, is a novel blazes by at near blinding speed. More than simply an exciting novel The Wolf Star shows great detail in the characterization of both its heroes and villains providing vibrant and lifelike personalities that leave the reader heavily invested in their fates. If you are a fan of military science fiction you should definitely be reading this series.

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