HAMMER AND CRUCIBLE by Cameron Cooper
Imperial Hammer 1.0
Space Opera Novel
The interstellar array which links worlds together wakes to find it has enemies…
The Fourth Carinad Empire stretches across hundreds of settled worlds and stellar cities, and thousands of light years. The Empire’s people and data are linked by a space-folding gates array controlled by the Emperor and his cohorts. When the array evolves into a sentient entity, it recognizes the Emperor as its foe.
Danny Andela, once known as The Imperial Hammer, withdrew from the Imperial Rangers decades ago, her reputation in tatters. She lives on her family’s star barge, waiting to die of a rare disease: old age. She would be the array’s perfect weapon against the Emperor, except she no longer gives a damn–about anything.
Then Danny learns that the military disaster which essentially ended her life might possibly have been arranged by the Emperor himself…
Hammer and Crucible is the first book in the Imperial Hammer space opera science fiction series by award-winning SF author Cameron Cooper.
The Imperial Hammer series:
1.0: Hammer and Crucible
1.1: An Average Night on Androkles
2.0: Star Forge
3.0: Long Live the Emperor
5.0: Destroyer of Worlds
5.5: The Imperial Hammer Series Box Set
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Wow, what an exciting story with more plot twists and surprises than a high mountain switchback road!
The complex concepts of the space-based life were broken into easy-to-read bites making this adventure totally captivating!
I was fascinated by the gradually revealed machinations as the mysteries of past events unfolded to reveal the full picture of what had really happened.
It seems like a slow introduction until suddenly I felt like I'd been dropped into exciting events that contain exhilarating elements of suspense and mystery. I had no idea of what would be uncovered from the past, and how it would affect their present, from one moment to the next.
This first book in the series has great closure but I'm hooked and keen to know what happens next in this space opera series.
In a future where longevity the norm as people rejuvenate to keep themselves “young”, interstellar travel occurs through arrays, and you print most of what you need. An event negatively affects a family so a grandmother and her granddaughter undertake a journey to discover the truth behind what occurred.
You will be transported to another dimension. The attention to detail makes everything you read plausible and you’ll exist in this new world along with these characters in this incredible story.
Cameron Cooper has just reminded me of how much I love a well-written science fiction story. He builds the scenes in a way that I feel as though I am actually walking long the ship’s corridors and I can totally relate to all of the characters. There is action, great world building, multi-dimensional characters and a well-written plot.
I cannot wait for the next book in this series. Thanks Cameron!
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EXCERPT FROM HAMMER AND CRUCIBLE
COPYRIGHT © CAMERON COOPER 2020
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED [Advisory: Frank language included.]
The Umb Judeste, Beyond The Inner Elbow.
Stellar barges are generally run by family corporations. Mine, The Umb Judeste, belongs to Carranoak Inc. I hold a razor thin majority of shares, so technically, the barge is mine. The irony of that struck me as I laid on steel decking, staring up at dazzling daylights, my jaw on fire. I had been slugged right on the corner of the jaw, in a near-perfect roundhouse swing, by the only member of the Carranoak family who could claim a second degree relationship to me.
Until that moment, I hadn’t known she was on the barge. Perfect fucking greeting.
I had come down to the main concourse when I heard a supply frigate had just emerged through the gate and was coupled to the Judeste. Supply ships provide a break from the routine. There’s always something interesting on them, even if it was just the communications squirt that comes along for the ride when a ship used the gate. Current gossip is addictive, especially when you haven’t got much else to do.
I stood at the edge of the swirl of new people carrying sacks or briefcases, or nothing. Some stared at the signposts for directions. Judeste personnel plucked travelers out of the stream and took them away. Others were regular visitors and they strode off, confident of their direction.
I got startled looks and second glances as the arrivals passed by. I was used to that and ignored it.
One of the junior pursers, Jimmy, spoke to a tall woman with wheat colored hair that matched mine—or, I should say, mine as it used to be. She was tall, had a small sack over one shoulder, a military bearing and civilian clothes. Jimmy turned and pointed at me.
That got me curious. I waited as the woman wound her way through the milling arrivals. As she drew closer I realized it wasn’t just the hair which was similar. She came right up to me with a fast, long-legged stride, her face working. At the last second I realized who she was.
Before I could open my mouth, she swung her fist. “Double-timing broad!” she ground out as her punch landed. I went down heavily. Of course I did. I figure it’s been sixty years since I’d last taken one in the face. The old bones have turned brittle since then.
As everyone lingering in the arrival area formed a loose circle around us, muttering to each other with delighted horror, I pressed my fingers against the tender spot and wondered if my jaw had dislocated. These days, just tripping over my own feet could be fatal. My heart staggered, righted itself and decided to keep ticking, for now. The sour taste of adrenaline made me swallow. Swallowing hurt, too.
“Hello, granddaughter,” I croaked.
Juliyana bent and peered at me. Was she waiting for me to get up so she could take another swing? She’d have to live with disappointment.
Her face worked with the fury driving her. The anger checked as she watched me gasping. Her gaze measured me—properly, this time. Her mouth opened. Horror painted her face. “Shit on a shovel…you…you’re old!”
“Not too fucking old to hit, though, right?”
Juliyana propped her hands on her knees, bellowing hard. She was still a Ranger, last I’d heard, so it wasn’t unaccustomed exercise shorting her breath. I’d seen guilt rip the guts of people before, though.
I held up a hand. “Help me up,” I demanded. “Then you can explain to me what the fuck is going on.”