So this book kept popping up on the ‘Recommendations for you’ widget on Goodreads. I have read military scifi before so maybe that’s where this recommendation comes from. I like the genre because the books are usually quick to read, full of action and very entertaining. That was sadly not the case with Constitution. This book is as cliche as military scifi could possibly be.
If you watched the first episode of the new Battlestar Galactica, you kind of have an idea of what is going to happen in the first 100 pages of this book. It also reads like a lot of other military scifi books that are based on the ‘aging hero ship’ concept of one lone ship standing against an invasion while other more advanced ships blow up like cans full of confetti.
- Humanity was in a war once which they barely won due to the ships of the time being super dependable.
- The enemy hasn’t been seen in 75 years and now there’s a new fleet of advanced ships that are replacing the old ships.
- The last of the old ships has been slated for decommissioning and is being turned into a museum; it’s captain is a controversial figure in the space navy and its XO is a drunk old war vet. (oh hey Saul Tigh is here!)
- The enemy is now back and the new ships are weaker than a wet tissue paper. Only the last remaining old ship can save everyone now!
Even the enemy sort of resembles the Cylons. They have a hive mind of some sort and for some reason unknown to us, they want to wipe out all humanity. On their path of destruction, they have already wiped out entire planets full of humans. Billions of lives have been lost in the single greatest tragedy in humanity’s history. All of this is just glossed over with a few sentences in the book. ‘Oh the Russian sector isn’t responding and has probably been wiped out’ gets a lukewarm reaction from a ship crew, admirals and more.
The person assigned to decommission the Constitution and turn her into a museum doesn’t get along well with the captain at the beginning. But then, as she proves her worth in battle, they seem to become fast friends. The new ships built by humanity have smart armor which can become useless by something equivalent to “knowing the right frequencies”. Even Star Trek makes it difficult to get the right frequency and once attacked, they realize that their shields aren’t helping. The space fleet here doesn’t realize it through the entire book. Every last ship is wiped out and no one thinks to ‘change the goddamn frequency’. In the empire of Cliches, there is prosperity and wealth.
Most other reviewers have bashed this book for being a ripoff of Battlestar Galactica and I completely agree with them. If that wasn’t enough, the ending couldn’t be worse. Well it could have been worse if Superman suddenly showed up and blew the aliens out of the sky. I have no motivation to read the other books in this series, they just sound like more of the same.
At any rate, there’s a ton of other good military scifi books that are worth your time. Instead of reading Constitution, go watch Battlestar Galactica, you’ll thank me later. Or go read Armor by John Steakley.