It should come as no surprise that I like a good bit of speculative fiction that is a bit heavier on the science than filled with handwavium. Therefore, when I stumbled across Jeb Kennison’s The Substrate Wars series, I was hooked. The first book in the trilogy, Red Queen, is definitely worth a read if you haven’t checked it out yet.
The series starts following a nuclear attack on Manhattan that led to a single party pretty much dominating American politics. The premise is not too far fetched and shows some of the problems that can come from having a political monoculture in universities and the media. A rebellious group of college students gets together and through a breakthrough in technology, develop a way to get away from the oppressive environments on Earth.
The books are short and the characters, while somewhat Mary-Sue-ish, are still likeable and believable. If you’re looking for a good adventure in sci-fi that deals with technology that we would actually recognize, then this trilogy is definitely worth the $7.00 all three books will cost you. I give it a solid three-and-a-half rainbow farting zebricorns. It loses one-and-a-half for the Mary-Sue characters and the black-and-white nature of the way it treats the good guys and the bad guys. Still, it’s readable and well worth the time.