The Aule Stratagem: Part one - Slave Ship by David Clegg

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
The debut novel from David Clegg.

The Aule Stratagem: Part One tells the opening story of what feels like it could grow into a large scale space opera from two key perspectives. While the author occasionally dips into other peoples perspectives, he focuses on two points of view, and this allows him to focus on them, and it works very well indeed.


The story arc is solid, clearly well thought through and somehow manages to convey the boredom of routine navy patrolling, the repetitive excitement of action stations when encountering an unknown vessel and the story line critical elements smoothly.

Told from the other key perspective, the terror of capture, and being held as a slave by pirates who have no value for life is well told. The female characters are unusually well written, full and complete, unlike in many sci fi novels.

The only slight irritation is the occasional repetition of phrases to describe the same thing, however this really is a minor irritation.

The book is a slender volume, a fraction of most sci-fi novels, bit is clearly part of a larger story, as if part one wasn't clue enough! The novel ends with a scene of peril, and I am keen to read the next one, however the author is currently in the process of writing it, so wait I must!

Overall, an excellent debut novel, with only a few rough edges.

For full disclosure: I know David, the author, having served with him briefly in the same reserve regiment and knowing him socially. However the novel is exactly the sort of sci-fi I would pick up anyway, and I don't think it has affected this review.

The book is available via amazon, direct from the publishers, or i can potentially get a signed copy if you really want me to.

I bought the review copy at full price.

4.5 Mr Potato Heads out of 5!

Amazon link:
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