Book Review: The Bayern Agenda, Dan Moren

Book Review: The Bayern Agenda, Dan Moren

Science Fiction: The Bayern Agenda, Dan Moren

Some books are just fun. The Bayern Agenda is a fun book. It’s a space opera. It’s a spy thriller. It’s a book with engaging, smart mouthed, characters who find themselves in challenging situations which require them to find new trust in themselves and each other. Dan Moren continues with characters we first met in The Caledonian Gambit in telling the story of the Galactic Cold War (though curiously enough, this book is labelled as “Book One” of the Galactic Cold War series despite taking place only months after the events of The Caledonian Gambit).

 

Simon Kovalic is a spy. Originally a soldier from Earth, he fled to the Commonwealth of Independent Systems after Earth fell to the Illyrican Empire. Now leading an elite team of covert operatives, Kovalic learns of a top secret meeting between officials from the Empire and the top bankers in the galaxy, one that could tip the balance of the cold war. Unfortunately, Kovalic is injured during the mission, so his team must proceed without him to confirm the purpose of the meeting and, if necessary, disrupt it.

 

When additional information comes in to Kovalic’s boss, and when it becomes apparent that there is at least one leak within their organization, Kovalic must follow his team to Bayern despite his injury and warn them about the new threats. The challenges increase by the page and the response to those challenges requires each team member to use all of their skills in order to survive. And like a good spy thriller will, Bayern saves its final twists until the very end.

 

Although this would not be considered a young adult book, The Bayern Agenda would be an easy and fun read for tweens and teens who enjoy science fiction and spy novels. Its fast pace and smart tone is appealing to all ages. Moren has delivered a clever novel with great characters who interact through an exciting story. In addition to the main thrust of the story, several “interludes” are included which give some back story for Kovalic, Tapper, and the Galactic Cold War, giving context to the events which take place during the novel.

 

The Bayern Agenda would make a great beach or airplane read. It is fast paced, the right length, complex enough to be interesting but straightforward and easy to read. A nice cross-over spy/sci-fi novel, hopefully introducing a series with a long run ahead of it.

Book Review: The Bayern Agenda, Dan Moren

Book Review: The Caledonian Gambit, Dan Moren

Book Review: The Caledonian GambitDan Moren

The Caledonian Gambit, Dan Moren

Science Fiction: The Caledonian GambitDan Moren

 

The Imperium was spreading inexorably through the galaxy. Earth was among the many systems under the thumb of Illyricum. Now, an unbeatable invasion force headed for Sabea. Eli Brody, one small part of that invasion force, was among the first through the interstellar gate in the vanguard of the attack. What he quickly found out is that he was also among the last. In an act of desperation, the Sabeans destroyed the gate, shutting their planet off from the rest of the galaxy, but also destroying the entire invasion fleet. Thousands of dead, trapped in the nothingness that was “between” areas of real space.

 

Five years later, a new gate opens and an agent of the Commonwealth visits Sabean space, their first visitor from the larger galaxy. He has one mission: get Eli Brody and take him back to Eli’s home planet of Caledonia. The Commonwealth is at war with the Imperium, and the Imperium is building a weapon on Caledonia that threatens to change the shape of that war. The information that the Commonwealth has received about the weapon has come from one source: Eamon Brody, Eli’s brother. And that source is missing.

 

The Caledonian Gambit is a lot of things, but most of all it is just fun. It careens through the dark alleys of an Irish-inspired planet. It has spies and secret networks and terrorists/freedom fighters. It has family tensions and a pretty girl who can knock you out with her fists. It is spy thriller and space opera and snarky humor all rolled up into one neat package. Dan Moren is a fan of science fiction, and his love for the genre shows in the pages of this delightful novel.

 

Science fiction is a very versatile genre. It has plenty of room for social commentary: economic disparity and racial inequality and social engineering. It let’s us explore scenarios of nuclear holocaust and climate catastrophe and computer meltdowns and global pandemics. It gives us hope in a future that is welcoming for LGBTQ and POC and the differently abled and the non-neural typical. And it leaves room for romps through space that just want to play with heroes and bad guys and secret agents and leave the deeper questions to others.

 

And I’ll admit it: as much as I love the works that shine a light on our present by exploring a potential future, sometimes it’s fun to just see heroes do heroic stuff and chase the secret weapon and fight the bad guys and let the music swell at appropriate times and let the credits run at the end. (Literally, there’s a long list of people at the end of the book that the author thanks.)

 

This may not be one of those books that makes me reflect on our world as it is. This is not a book that changed me or moved me or challenged me. Frankly, I read a lot of those books, and sometimes I don’t mind taking a break. This is a book that I had fun reading. I smiled, I cheered, and I hope that Dan Moren has some further adventures to come for his team from The Caledonian Gambit.

The Caledonian Gambit, Dan Moren

Book Review: The Caledonian GambitDan Moren