Starhawk by Jack McDevitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Priscilla Hutchins has been through many experiences. This is the story of her first unforgettable adventure
Priscilla "Hutch” Hutchins has finally realized her lifelong dream: She’s completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot’s license.
Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality, and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life-forms, outraging people on Earth.
So there’s not a lot of demand for space pilots. Priscilla thinks her career may be over before it has begun. But her ambition won’t be denied, and soon she is on the bridge of an interstellar ship, working for the corporation that is responsible for the terraforming.
Her working conditions include bomb threats, sabotage, clashes with her employers—and a mission to a world, adrift between the stars, that harbors a life-form unlike anything humanity has ever seen. Ultimately, she will be part of a life-and-death struggle that will test both her capabilities and her character...
The first of the Academy series for me, I chose this one because it's apparently a prequel to the other six books in the series and introduces Priscilla who is the main character of the series. I give it four stars because of how well written it is, and how smoothly the story rolls along with good characters and fantastic world-building. However, there is a small (very small) level of disappointment because the story didn't really seem to go anywhere terribly interesting or exciting. There was enough action and mystery to keep me involved but I found myself waiting for a jump into a big scene where things really open up. This wasn't to be, but I guess the purpose of the story is to introduce us to the main character of the Academy series, and this the book does well, enough to make me take an interest in the other books. A very well written story by one of the most popular authors of the genre. Aside from what I said above, I say try it. It's pretty good.
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