The High Ground by Melinda Snodgrass
Series: Imperials #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Military SF
Setting: The Solar League
Source: Ebook, purchased
Publishing Date: 2016
Synopsis: Emperor’s daughter Mercedes is the first woman ever admitted to the High Ground, the elite training academy of the Solar League’s Star Command, and she must graduate if she is to have any hope of taking the throne. Her classmate Tracy has more modest goals — to rise to the rank of captain, and win fame and honor. But a civil war is coming and the political machinations of those who yearn for power threaten the young cadets. In a time of intrigue and alien invasion, they will be tested as they never thought possible.
I enjoyed this book by Melinda Snodgrass a lot until the ending. I did think the ending was realistic, but it wasn’t the way I wanted it to end! So on the whole I enjoyed the book. It’s a story of cadets at the High Ground which is the elite training academy for officers in this world. At least one year of the training academy is required for the eldest son in each aristocratic family. A few students from the lower class are given scholarships each year. The aristocrats look down on them and scorn them whenever they can.
In this book Tracy is one of the scholarship students and he doesn’t want to go to the academy, but there aren’t really any other choices for him unless he wants to become a tailor like his dad. Also in this class of cadets the Emperor’s oldest daughter Mercedes is the first woman admitted to the academy. Her father has only daughters so he has gotten the laws changed that say that the succession only goes to the eldest son. Now his eldest daughter is named heir to the throne, but first she must graduate from the High Ground. Neither Tracy nor Mercedes want to be at High Ground, but they both have to persevere and succeed.
The beginning of the book gives foreshadowing of bad things to come for this empire from what looks like some sort of alien race. I don’t really know if that was necessary in this book. I guess by the end of the series I might know what I think of that.
There are many things I like about this book. I like that there are aliens in the book. These are races that were conquered by the empire. Most people in the empire treat them as though they aren’t very intelligent. They work as servants and have very little power. However, there’s lots of evidence in the book that they are much more than they seem.
Women are also treated much differently than men in this society. That’s because they need women to have large families to help increase the population. Women are expected to get married and have children. When Mercedes enters High Ground it causes all sorts of tremors through the empire. Women aren’t supposed to learn how to fight or how to govern an empire.
All in all, even though I didn’t like the ending too well this is a good book. And it caused me to think about government, society, aristocracy, hereditary government and groups of people who have little or no say about what happens to them. That’s not to say the book isn’t entertaining. It’s very entertaining and fun to read. After all, it’s my favorite science fiction genres combined–space opera and military science fiction!
My Rating: B
Have you read any books by this author?