Iowa City Public Library's Reviews > Midshipman's Hope

Midshipman's Hope by David Feintuch
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's review
Mar 25, 2010

bookshelves: beth-d, fiction
Read in August, 2006

"Lord God, today is October 9, 2194, on the U.N.S. Hibernia. We ask you to bless us, to bless our voyage, and to bring health and well-being to all aboard."

Nick Seaforth is 17 years old and a minor officer on a jinxed space vessel. He becomes captain of the ship as all senior officers are either killed in a tragic accident or die of illness. Throughout the voyage, he has to deal with passenger disapproval, piracy, mutiny, deadly aliens, dangerous subordinates, and a computer glitch that threatens the life support system.

Though inexperienced and lacking in confidence, he manages to bring the ship home against all odds.

This novel is well crafted and interesting. We learn of the government headed by the United Nations, hammered out after the collapse of civilization by fusing the church and civil authority. We learn details of shipboard life and the strict rules that govern every waking moment. We are privy to Nick's struggles with conscience and deeply ingrained need to find the perfect solution to impossible situations.

The delight of the story is watching the hero come up with less-than-perfect solutions that nevertheless enable the crew to find their way home. You know there is a happy ending out there; your mission is to survive long enough to find it. --Beth D.

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