The Captain’s Oath, by Rick Griffin — book review by Gre7g Luterman
by Dogpatch Press Staff
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Welcome to Gre7g Luterman, science fiction author reviewed here. Find him online at his site or Twitter.
The Captain’s Oath is book two in an epic science fiction trilogy about a struggle against oppression, featuring illustrations by author and artist Rick Griffin. [Full disclosure: I’ve been a beta reader on this project since the trilogy was a novel-length draft.]
What would you do to escape from slavery? It’s not as simple a question as it might seem. For although the crew of the White Flower II are definitely slaves, it’s not like someone stands over them with a whip, watching them pick cotton. The krakun (an alien race that look like dragons) indoctrinate the geroo (an alien race that look like anthropomorphic kangaroos) from birth into believing that they are willing employees. Additionally, they let the geroo live in just enough comfort to keep the crew from considering any form of revolt.
Ateri, the captain of the White Flower II, has been considering escape his whole life, and when a ship of pirates offers him a chance at freedom (a do-or-die offer, admittedly), they enter into a conspiracy that can only lead to freedom or the execution of every man, woman, and child aboard. The plan has three parts, which roughly correspond to the books in the trilogy.
Step 1: Trick the krakun into believing that a newly discovered planet can be terraformed into a new home world.
Step 2: Lay low while the krakun bring in a terraformer (the single most expensive machine in the known galaxy).
Step 3: Steal the transformer and sell it.
The first book in The Final Days of the White Flower II trilogy was called Traitors, Thieves, and Liars (published February 2019). It followed Gert and a pair of pirates as they snuck aboard a krakun survey ship to plant doctored data.
The second book, The Captain’s Oath (published February 2021), largely abandons Gert to follow the ship’s science officer, Tesko. I’ll admit that I was leery of this decision initially, but as this book has become my favorite novel of all time (furry or mainstream), clearly it was a good choice on Mr. Griffin’s part.