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Review of Into the Chaos by James Rosone

With the exception of the second novel in the series, which was a bit lackluster and had some noticeable grammatical faults, I’ve very much enjoyed Rosone’s science fiction novels. Beginning with Into the Stars, they chart what might happen if humanity were to discover how to travel faster than light. Were we to develop that tremendous technology, how might we explore the stars? What species might we discover? Would we be peaceful explorers, a galactic force for good, or conquistador-like conquerors? Those are the questions Rosone attempts to answer, along with many more that touch on the intersection of humanity, technology, religion, and consciousness, in his science fiction series.

So, I was quite happy when I escaped from my law school studies for a bit to read the fourth novel in the series, Into the Chaos. It, like the third, Into the War, is about humanity’s place in a universe filled with ancient civilizations of aliens battling for control. What we lack in technology we make up for in boldness and warlike spirit, both of which gradually allow us to win respect from our newfound allies and fear from our horrifying foes.

Given that intergalactic war is the major impetus behind the action in the book, much of the plot hinges on major battles. On the ground, humans and their allies fight vicious battles against aliens that raise the proverbial black flag and take no prisoners. In the skies, high-tech jets and helicopter gunships battle for supremacy, helping to give their comrades on the ground a much-needed edge. And, most exciting of all, in the stars massive space dreadnaughts and battleships slug it out with laser turrets, railguns, and nuclear missiles while smaller craft dart in and out of battle, firing off torpedos like subs and destroyers in World War II. All of it is quite imaginative and exciting, bringing battles in space to life in an innovative way that isn’t quite there in many science fiction works.

Yet better, Rosone explores many of the concepts introduced in the earlier novels much more in Into the Chaos. While much of the novel does revolve around titanic battles and their aftermath, a significant portion is spent on somewhat more philosophical issues.

For example, casualties suffered among the stars force humans to build an army of synthetic soldiers, machines that fight like Special Forces soldiers but can be created in a factory. What would happen if such machines became conscious? Could they feel? Could they develop emotions?

Another example- how might industry develop as we learn to explore distant planets, moons, and galaxies? With the resources of a universe at our disposal, what projects might man embark on? On this topic, Rosone runs wild, describing plans for glorious structures and multi-generational projects that would make even the Romans and Victorians blush. That imagination is brilliant and it’s exciting to return, even if for just a few hours of reading, to a state of mind in which man is focused on greatness and glorious achievement, not just “efficiency.”

There are other issues, such as what wealth might come from developing other planets, how anti-government types might thrive in space, to what devious ends humanity might resort if it found itself in a fight for survival, and what qualities we have as humans that would separate us from humanoid-like aliens, and all of them are quite interesting, but my favorites are imagining what the semi-conscious robots of the future might be like and how the economy would develop as man conquered the stars. What days are ahead!

Into the Chaos certainly isn’t for everyone. If you’re not a fan of science fiction, especially less realistic and more imaginative science fiction, it’s probably not for you. Similarly, if you prefer action novels that focus on a specific protagonist rather than the grand campaigns of armies and massive fleet actions, it’s probably not for you.

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However, I do think that it will, and should, appeal to a greater audience than one might expect. It’s not just a military novel set in space, nor is it just another work of fun but not particularly thought-provoking science fiction. No, it’s more than that. It’s a story about how humanity might develop as more of the universe became conquerable and what terrible mistakes other species might have made in their attempts to conquer the stars. There’s a good bit to it, and I predict you’ll quite enjoy it and the rest of the series if you give it a try.

By: Gen Z Conservative