Book Review: Link, a new Sci-Fi Thriller by D.A. Karr

The Bottom Line: A spectacularly fast-paced sci-fi thriller, Link is guaranteed to resonate with readers of Cliver Cussler and Battlestar Galactica fan fiction.

In D.A. Karr’s Link, a meteor impact has caused Earth to shift on its axis, destroying the climate, social classes and time as we know it. Enter the National Space Time Enforcement Agency (N.S.T.E.A.), which is “the god of time,” and its soldiers, known as “timeliners.”

N.S.T.E.A. Captain John Garrick is commander of the spacecraft Phoenix. He is, more or less, an android with a soul (by the time the story begins in the year 2799, humans are immortal). But Garrick and his fellow timeliners face a powerful adversary in Menser, the leader of a well-funded army that seeks to capture Garrick’s time technology and destroy their timeline.

Menser’s funding comes from Charles Ramsey, an ex-president of the United Sectors, and a terrorist. Ramsey provides the strategy and the money, while Menser delivers the muscle. Their counterpart is Prime Minister Watkins, a seasoned diplomat with a hands-on approach.

The action in Link is plentiful, and the battles across timelines are clever (refreshingly, one of Park’s characters carries a 20th century weapon – a Smith & Wesson sidearm). But it’s actually the attention paid to the relationship between man and machine that is most interesting. While Link is wholly original, it asks the question Battlestar Galactica was so good at asking over and over again: what does it mean to be human?

Like Battlestar scribe Ronald Moore, Karr has also spent considerable time studying World War II battles, as well as the plots of classic cold war tales like Tom Clancy‘s The Hunt for Red October. That’s just another reason why the legions of Battlestar Galactica fans who write and read the series’ fan fiction are bound to find a soul mate in John Garrick.

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