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John Spearman
Author
Pike's Progress
The follow up to Pike's Passage, a Finalist in the 2021 BookLife Prize, and the third in the Sandy Pike series, Sandy rejoins the Alliance Navy as they look to recover planetary systems lost after their surrender to the Hegemony of United Worlds and the subsequent civil war in the hegemony. Alison Lynch recovers from her traumatic experience at the hands of the Graz Syndicate and finds herself in the middle of the hunt for an escaped psychopath.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.00 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot/Idea: In a follow-up to Pike's Passage, Spearman offers another alluring and far-reaching sci-fi thriller. Though readers may initially struggle to dig into the meat of the story due to an avalanche of names, places, terms, and expository details, fully invested fans will be richly rewarded.

Prose: Spearman's prose is frequently technical and exposition-minded. Nevertheless, the author paints vivid imagery of gleaming starships and a future interplanetary landscape.

Originality: Pike's Progress sits comfortably in the realm of fellow space-op genre pieces. Though this installment of the series may not make a name for itself beyond the stars it already inhabits, Spearman remains an exceptionally skilled storyteller. 

Character Development/Execution: The story's more expository approach to character-building may strike some readers as inorganic. Nevertheless, the novel's cast more than adequately serves the story and the sound worldbuilding.

Date Submitted: April 23, 2022

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