Mini-Review: The Thorne Legacy

Thorne LegacyThe Thorne Legacy

I’m still being crushed (under a mountain of paperwork) at my job, so I don’t have time tonight to write up another magazine review and continue my last Four Apes story.   Instead, I thought I’d put down a few words about a story by fellow blogger JD Brink.

While thinking about what to write in tonight’s mini-review, I was reminded of my mini-review of Brandon Sanderson’s “Snapshot”.  The two stories don’t share plot elements or similar characters, but both are very short, very entertaining, and have story elements that other authors might learn something from.

The Thorne Legacy is a military sci-fi story that opens with some family drama.  Normally, I can’t stand family drama in my science fiction, but I thought it worked really well here.  So, maybe I don’t hate family drama as much as I thought — I just hate pointless family drama and poorly-written family drama, and most examples I read fall into one or both of those categories.  This particular drama is between a young NCO (I think, I’ve forgotten his rank) and his father, who is a high-ranking officer.  The young man is scheduled to face a court-martial the next day, so as you can imagine, the conversation is tense.  It also provides the story’s background without seeming at all like an infodump.

The Spoiler DragonProceed no further, unless you want your court-martial spoiled.

So, the court-martial never happens … because there’s an invasion.  This is the one part of the story I wish had been done a little differently.  The plot jumps ahead in time here (unless my electronic device had a glitch), having the characters crawl out of their destroyed vehicle.  I felt the author missed an opportunity to show some additional chaos in the initial moments of the attack, with uncertainty about what’s going on, who’s attacking, and whether the lower-ranking soldiers should follow the orders of someone they were guarding as a prisoner moments before.

Whether or not you agree with my comments above, you should enjoy this story if you’re at all open to military sci-fi, as The Thorne Legacy stays tense from beginning to end, without any filler.  The ending does something really unusual these days in SFF — something I’d like to see more of, but won’t discuss here because it’s too much of a spoiler.  I may devote a separate blog post to the subject in the future.

There is a follow-up collection of three stories set in the same universe, The Scythe of Kronos.

Thorne Legacy II


  1. J. D. Brink · · Reply

    Hey, thanks for the kind words, sir. Glad you enjoyed it. I suppose the story could easily be expanded to be novel-length, but at the time (shit, probably ten years ago by now) I was trying to keep it short enough to submit around. (It actually made it as a finalist in WotF but obviously didn’t win.) I do have future plans for these characters, but who knows when i’ll get to that? Hopefully it won’t be another ten years…! Thanks again!

    1. You’re welcome. I also purchased The Scythe of Kronos tonight.

  2. J. D. Brink · · Reply

    Reblogged this on Brink's Chaos Theory and commented:

    Planetary Defense Command Reviews “The Thorne Legacy” — thanks for the kind words!

  3. Sounds promising…

    1. If you’re in the mood for short, military sci-fi that has character as well as action…

  4. Thanks for sharing! The Thorne Legacy sounds downright intriguing 🙂

  5. […] The Thorne Legacy.  I have previously reviewed this story. […]

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