The Crimson Deathbringer is the first novel from Sean Robins--and a great debut it is. It's chockablock full of action. You have dramatic alien-versus-human-versus alien encounters, exciting space battles, an insane race to save the world, some warm-hearted romance, and a lot of waggish humor (reminiscent of Douglas Adams). If you can get this granite face to break a smile, you've accomplished something major and Sean has done just that--by infusing campy fun at the right times, in the right places.
I was a Trekkie--and once a Trekkie, always a Trekkie, because I could still [effortlessly, happily] watch episode after episode after episode. That said, though, I'm not a fan of science fiction. I'd agreed to review the book, but not checked the genre, so when it arrived, it was a woe-is-me, "Tyler, what'd you get yourself into?" Then, I read the first chapter and the characters and storyline yanked me in!
Not only do you have protagonist Major Jim Harrison, an Air Force fighter pilot, relaying action through his eyes, you view it through others. It's not simple to balance--juggle--different POVs, or stories within stories, but Sean makes it work exceptionally well.
His characters are carefully crafted and his descriptions of future Earth and alternative planets and life forms are well detailed. It's easy to visualize all that is transpiring--from perilous shootouts and intense combat, to silly pranks and friendly banter. There is an emotional level, too--sadness when someone dies, dismay when all seems futile, and encouragement when something heartening happens.