Tales of the Terrace Republic
Six centuries into the future and light-years into outer space, the only thing that has not changed is the struggles of the human condition. The desires for power, love and survival persist in Tales of the Terrace Republic, a military space thriller that forges one flawed everyman into a hero.
Phillip Murphy is a veteran from a war that ended a decade ago. He hasn’t had a promotion in a long time, and the shrinking armed forces have not been friendly. The Terrace Navy puts him at the helm of a meager torpedo boat – a career-ending assignment.
But a routine space patrol finds his ship nearly ambushed by fighters, and when he tails them back to their base, Phillip discovers an anomaly – the investigation of which will change the course of his life forever.
Cover Art By Christian Buck
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The prologue is action-heavy, but the dialogue lacks narrative that denotes who exactly is speaking. Admittedly, I thought it was a rough start. However, the chapters following the prologue are polished, with less ambiguity and greater emphasis on personalities, relationships, and interactions of characters. The use of descriptions to depict the sense of scale (i.e. the size of Clearwater Prime) is especially impressive.
References to Murphy's anatomy as a result of the planet on which they grew up is a nice touch; it really drives the point that space exploration would create such consequences that many people in the real world cannot fathom. The subtle insertions that portray the nature of the technology of the time (i.e. magnets in shoes) add to the superb storytelling.
To top it all off, the writer does an excellent job of filling the scenes with dialogue and simultaneous action so that the characters appear three dimensional. Murphy is especially fleshed out, and all crew members introduced thus far think and behave with realistic motivations in mind.
Personally, I'm looking forward to delving into a rivalry between Murphy and Robertson. The contrasting character dynamics add to the possibilities to come in future interactions between the two spacefarers.
I’ll start off this review of Tales of the Terrace Republic by saying one thing, and that’s that the story makes me feel a little nostalgic, somehow.
I wasn’t a huge sci-fi reader in my youth, but I did read a lot of Star Wars Expanded Universe books, the kind that were much less focused on the swashbuckling adventures of the movies and more on the ship combat and technical stuff. The kind of sci-fi book stuff you don’t really find outside of books at all. Space-oriented sci-fi is already exceedingly rare on Royal Road, but also one that doesn’t focus on dystopias and desolation is even rarer.
After reading the first six chapters of the story for my weekly review, I can say that I quite enjoy the feeling of a sci-fi space-trotting story where everything is kind of slow and calm, with lots of technical details that fly over my head and military procedure that flies even further. Not an incredible amount of story happens in these first 60-70 pages, but it’s all the stuff you’re probably looking for from a story called Tales of the Terrace Republic.
The positive here is that, if you are into sort of old-style military space stories, you have exactly what you’re looking for. Lots of worldbuilding and sciency stuff and a buildup to what is most likely going to be a pretty big story.
The negative is that, if you aren’t into this sort of story, it is going to be off-putting very quickly. The writing, because of all the detail, can be very dry, almost too dry even for sci-fi enthusiasts. The dialogue is not realistic very often, and pages and pages are spent on details that don’t do much to advance anything. The first chapter starts off with some action going on, but it isn’t as exciting as some might be hoping for when they first jump in. There’s a lot more passive voice than I’d recommend in a story of its nature, and it’s something that might hurt its appeal to some readers.
Sadly, the characters have not been fleshed out as far as I was able to read, either. The protagonist Philip had a little bit about him that was interesting, but the plot has not moved along enough to expand his personality and that of everyone else on board his crew.
But... this is all stuff that’s pretty common to this brand of old-school-esque sci-fi, whether that’s in web fiction or published books. If you know what you’re getting into, and you’re interested in it anyway, you’ll have a good time.
An excellent story for fans of hard sci-fi. The characters are well written, and the plot engaging. As a fan of naval space combat, this has pushed all the right buttons. It reminds me of the expanse, but in a post FTL civilization. There is some sci-fi stuff, but most of the combat is grounded in physics and believable technological development. Give it a go, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Style: Crisp and clean. The author uses the economy of words to tell what he needs to without delving into purple prose.
Story: If you want desperate space battles between starships, you've found it.
Grammar: The grammar mistakes and typos started to take me out of the story. This needs a to go through ProWritingAid or Grammarly.
Character: The characters take a backseat to the setting, and there's nothing wrong with that.
A sc-fi future story, even though it is not my cup of tea, i liked how the story paned out and how technical terms were actually used in a military story.
If i have something to offer it would be the author adding explanations at the end of each chapter for new objects, there is already a glossary made for the terms, what i am offering is somewhat different.
For example something called gravity plates was mentioned in one of the chapter, I suggest the author could do something like this at the end of the chapter.
Gravity plates : Develoled by XX Compamy/country/organization at year XX. Initially used for space stations and then developed commercialy only to banned later for missuse in terrorist attacks. Authorised use :Government, Military, Construction companies.
Style: the story goes in and out between povs and third person narrative. It is done right and when needed to be, not making any rough transition so far.
The story: The plot is still starting and it has got an intersring start. My problem would be that it has more details and less progression, i get it is a slow starter, but I like to see more progression at least. Otherwise, honestly the story is great.
To me i did not notice anything that roughed my story reading, so full stars for me.
Character: although it is a slow strater, I could somehow feel the characterful of the MC during conversation and interactions which is great for me.
Style: The author shifts regularly between multiple POVs, which helps build a believable world since the reader get to experience the world and world-building from different areas and worldviews.
Story: The story starts slow, with a lot of explanation on the ships and world building but it ramps up pretty quickly.
Characters: The MC is great, and his backstory is interesting and fleshed-out. There’s a lot of support characters to keep track of (the crew of the Skate) but the glossary helps to remind the reader of who is who and what they do.
I'm writing this review as part of a swap, and frankly, I feel ashamed that I haven't found this novel sooner because it's a lot better than I expected at first glance. Tales of the Terrace Republic is a nicely written military sci-fi and space opera, which focuses on Lieutenant Murphy's and his crew's adventures on board the Skate torpedo boat, and while I haven't read the whole thing yet, the book shows great promise. I certainly intend to finish this one!
Style: The story is told from a limited 3rd person perspective using multiple POVs, and I think the author nailed this part quite well. The POVs usually shift between the same three characters but we do get an insight into the perspectives of other characters and ships, which helps the reader to get a better understanding of the world and the happenings of the novel from lots of different sources. We also have a time and place stamp at the beginning of each scene, which helps us keep track of the happenings. There is also a glossary chapter that the reader can rely on if they forget a name or an abbreviation, which is certainly useful.
Story: I'd rather not spoil too much of the story so I'll keep this part brief. The main character, Murphy, gets reassigned by his superiors into the command seat of a small Torpedo boat in the middle of nowhere as a sort of an early retirement assignment, but instead of it being a relaxing and somewhat boring posting he ends up being part of a pirate hunt even before he manages to finish his training exercise with his new crew. It's a good story setup, albeit a somewhat slow one, and since a lot of the early chapters focus on setting up the world we're in and the characters, while explaining the workings of the ships during the training mission, we'll know what to expect by the time the real mission starts.
Characters: The MC is certainly in a very relatable situation and he's backstory is fleshed out quite nicely. The support cast is also good, though with all the crew onboard the Skate a few of them are bound to be mixed up or forgotten. The glossary helps mitigate this.
One detail that I appreciated is the emphasis on a character's homeworld and their varying physical appearance as a result. People from higher or lower gravity planets have vastly different bone structures, which affect not just their height, but also their endurance, their g-force tolerance and even their personality. I haven't seen many novels deal with this other than The Expanse series, so kudos to you, Author, for including it!
Grammar: Smooth as butter. Haven't seen any mistakes that would take away from the story, and even these were rare.
I know this is early for a review but this is a good debut and i hope this will be good space opera
Sry for my bad englis
Excellent strory not to fast nor to slown the characters are interesting we learn about the word little bi little overal it well worth to read .
A pleasure for the fan of space combat
The similarities with u-boat help better understand the capacity of the boat this renforce the tension when the boat hunt.
Tales of the terrace republic is a world heavy with worldbuilding and science. Those who searching for stories that focus on these aspects, which I assume fans of scifi and space opera tend to do, will definitely not be disappointed and swallow every bit of the story.
Style: Now, if you're not so into extensive worldbuilding, then the story might be too much. The reader does get bombarded with world building and science, especially regarding the nature of gravity environments. And for sure, the ships are certainly well explored. But it is not easy to digest, and the reader can easily feel lost. Another issues is the abbundance of adjectives and sentences that tell the reader the feelings of the characters instead of showing them. Like wise, the sentences are often structured the same way, even starting with the same word multiple times in a row.
All's clear here.
The characters definitely take a backseat here. We got to see what Murphy's leadership is like and that he's an outside of the box thinker, but besides that, there aren't much insights into his character or believes. Something that could help migate this is showing what his life was like before he got sent to his dead-end post. It's mentioned that the position is usually for those who screwed up one too many times, so it would be a good to see what made high-command decide to reassign Murphy. The other characters are little more than footnotes so far.
This is a story for science and space opera nerds. Like, if you think you belong to this group, then I've zero doubt that this story will be perfect for you. Though some polish is nessecary.