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A different touch, to some limited extent
on 20 December 2015
I mentioned finding that Ark Royal was essentially a product based on a formula which ticked all the boxes of the space opera genre and ended up being quite a good read, although at times also a caricature. This is also true for the Nelson Touch, volume two of the trilogy.
There are however also a few additional twists, such as a very special passenger travelling incognito on board of Ark Royal and who happens to also be a rather good pilot. I could not help wandering to what extent the author was alluding to a certain helicopter pilot who served some time in Afghanistan, although the comparison should probably not be pushed too far.
A second interesting feature here is to have both the aliens and the humans adapting to each other in the interstellar war that they are fighting. A third feature is to end the story with the loss of said “incognito passenger” who makes contact with the aliens while a fourth feature is also to end this episode by showing in rather dramatic ways how badly the humans have been hit.
Again, you get plenty of space ship battles and airspace dogfights between Starfighters and their alien equivalents which somehow always seem, in both cases, to perform less well than those of Ark Royal. Again, you get the continuation of the sexual romance – with plenty of detail! - between the senior flight officer and his younger female subordinate and, as an extra treat, you get a second story involving incognito pilot officer freshly graduating from the Academy and a female navy officer.
Once again, the whole plot is rather predictable from beginning to end, except for the couple of twists that I mentioned before. However, this time also, the book makes for a good and exciting read, however formulaic the characterisation and the plot happen to be. Four somewhat generous stars essentially because this is an entertaining read.