Book of the Month – June

June 7, 2009

Defeated by S.D. McKee

193301623XI’ve been bad. I missed April and May’s book reviews of our backlist. It wasn’t for lack of interest; just time. I’ve put my order in with the Cosmic Muffin for more hours in a day, but I’m being met with crickets.

So without further ado, here is my June pick. Even thought I’m not a reader of Science Fiction, I fell in love with Defeated from the get-go. I admit to being a closet Trekkie. I don’t wear Spock’s ears or pretend I’m Kirk’s eye candy, but I adore many things spacie; but not just for spacie sake.

I love the nobility of selfless acts performed by ordinary men put in extraordinary circumstances, and this seems to be a reoccurring theme in SF.  I love the idea that they may sacrifice themselves in order to save something bigger than them.  And I love the whole “odds are against us” bit while fulfilling some uncertain destiny.

S.D. McKee scratched all my Trekkie itches with this wonderful book. Truth be known, I’ve replaced Kirk with Jonathan Quinn; something I never thought could happen. But Quinn has a quiet confidence about him that gives strength and faith to those who serve under him. He’s busy trying to save the planet, but he’s also fighting against his own demons, a personal journey that puts the jam in my jelly doughnut.

His enemy reminds me of the opening of Independence Day when the space ships come screeching into Earth’s atmosphere on a trail of burning smoke. It scared the granola out of me because it was so alien and mysterious. S.D. McKee captures that same primal fear of a malevolent enemy that will stop at nothing to destroy Earth in a brutal, ugly way.

His cast of characters round out the plot beautifully, and I could feel their ambivalence and shock at discovering exactly what following Quinn into battle would mean to their future existence. McKee writes his characters so fully that they leap off the page and sit down next you and say, “Got some time? I have one hell of a story to tell you.”

It’s no small wonder it was a finalist at the National Book Awards. I think USA Booknews said it best:

Defeated takes readers on a fantastic adventure! Sure to satisfy avid sci-fi fans.”

You can read the first two chapters here.
Oh…and take a look at his website; it’s one of the coolest I’ve seen in a long time. If you do the flash version, be sure to turn on the sound.

Pssst…Amazon is currently out of stock (we’re taking care of that right now). However, you can order Defeated directly from our online store (you’ll see the Order Now button), and we’re charging less than Amazon. It is available at Amazon.com/UK for you across the ponders.


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