Dawn by Weston Westmoreland, 215 pages, May 26th 2017, Genre: Science Fiction/Colonization/Galactic Empire. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
Review by Leigh Holland.
A planet named Arweg is making its way the only way it knows how. Its people are advancing at a slow to moderate pace, focused on creating a better life, a happier future, for themselves. And while the government, led by the First Citizen Arzo Barr, is corrupt, it’s kept in check by its people, a natural balance for its power level. Until one day, a discovery is made in the wilderness. A beacon from the ancient craft goes out, summoning Goddess, a larger and more powerful ship. Goddess is there to offer societal advancement beyond the First Citizen’s wildest imaginings within a short time. Soon, the people are worked day and night, told this is what’s best for their society. But is it?
Brod begins to question the social order. If everyone is miserable, is it really worth it to advance so quickly? Who really profits from the Accelerated Adaptation Program? Brod and his friend Mara encounter Puwir Swardi, the Pilgrim. The Pilgrim is gathering those who oppose the program. He tells them the truth behind it- the Empire is returning to enslave the people and reap the resources they produce with these technological advancements. The Pilgrim hopes a rebellion can defeat the First Citizen’s forces and halt the expansion before the Empire is alerted and begins the return. Brod and Mara are joined by doctors from the project and Brod’s girlfriend, a scientist named Dunali. Can they defeat the corrupt government selling them out to a brutal empire? Can they survive against their oppressive government as it grows in power?
This book had sad moments of defeat and thrilling moments of heroism. The Arwegians are a noble people who’d rather die than allow the Empire to take over. Two of my favorite characters were Mara and Arlet Baro. Mara aligns his personal goal with the larger one: revenge against the Empire and First Citizen for the loss of those he loves, and defeating the forces trying to enslave his world. When Mara attacks, he does so in the name of his fallen brother. He won’t sacrifice the innocent in pursuit of his vengeance, though. Mara can be patient. Arlet Baro is the son of the First Citizen, assisting his father in pursuit of the Empire’s goals. Unlike his power-hungry, morally bankrupt father, Arlet has a moral compass. It’s very difficult to read his true intentions through most of the book. At times, he seems friendly with the rebels. Other times, he seems to be opposed to them.
Every one of the major and supporting characters is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice for their people. I loved the climactic scene the best, surprised to discover who would prove the most heroic of all. I enjoyed Dawn and I’d recommend it to science fiction fans.
You can find it at Dawn.
On a planet forsaken by a pan-stellar Empire in times long forgotten, old stories tell of an infamous day when swarms of imperial starships clouded the sky and abducted all able men and women. Nothing was ever known of them thereafter. The planet, known as Arweg, was left stranded, inhabited only by orphaned children, the unlearned elderly, and the helpless. Years went by, the old died, and the children grew to become adults in an ignorant world surrounded by crumbling technology they were unable to understand and much less operate. After ages of darkness, civilization reemerged to a point where a small portion of the little technology preserved in time could be worked.
Two young Arwegians unearth a metallic capsule and trigger a chain-reaction. The strange pod will relay a signal into deep space and summon an immense octopus-shaped starship known as Goddess. The Empire is back, and it wants to restore Arweg to its former status as a full member of the Confederacy. It is the Dawn of a new Era. Or is it?
A voice from the past will warn the Arwegians the real purpose of the Empire is to modernize the planet only to make it suitable for a renewed colonization and slavery. Some will believe it and some will not. The Revolution has begun.
Dawn follows a small group of characters from both sides who will be drastically changed—those who survive—through war, love, loss, courage, hate, compassion, and friendship as the years go by, extreme events take place, and hope is almost the only thing left…
About the Author:
Weston Westmoreland was born in the spring of 1972. He is married and father of two kids.
Weston earns a living working by himself as an engineer, teacher, and freelance photographer, but not from writing. In all honesty, even though he enjoys writing in different forums and used to blog every now and then, he does not see himself as a fiction writer. Dawn is his first work of this kind, which is the reason why he invested in it far more effort and love than it probably deserved.
Avid reader, lone traveler, slow trail-runner, passionate photographer, terrible guitarist and worse singer, amateur modeler, persistent sketcher, weekend trekker, occasional painter and sculptor, self-taught gardener, committed father and husband, and first of all, a curious man… you can learn more about the way Weston sees life through his old but still current blog at:
You can also see his pics at: