Author: William J. Benning
Genre: Space Opera
The third installment in the exciting First Admiral Series, Time Commander follows the continuing adventures of Billy Caudwell; the teenage First Admiral of the Universal Alliance Fleet as he strives to prevent a long, protracted and bloody war with the Ganthorans.
Having defeated a Ganthoran Frontier Fleet General in battle, Billy Caudwell must undertake the dangerous ‘Time Warrior Ritual’. In the ritual, Billy has to re-fight (and win) a major battle, that in the history of his species was lost – and in which the losing Commander was killed. To prevent years, possibly decades, of costly warfare, Billy must complete the ritual and claim the Crystal Throne of Ganthus. If Billy completes the challenge, he will become the Emperor of the Ganthorans. If he fails, he will die on a historical battlefield from Earth’s past.
Sinister powerful and xenophobic forces among the Ganthoran aristocracy and military are ranged against Billy, determined to prevent an alien claiming the Crystal Throne.
Can Billy survive the challenge and avert a brutal and costly war?
Time Commander is the third book in the First Admiral series. I’ve reviewed books one and two before.
While I thought book one and two read like the story was meant for middle graders, but told in a mature voice, Time Commander does slightly better. Now the story feels aimed at young adults, yet the writing is still wordy, and would feel more suitable for a more mature story. Either way, I actually enjoyed The Burning Sun more than this one.
Part of that is due to main character, Billy Caudwell, getting thrown back in time, and has a chance to undo decades of warfare. My main question was: why didn’t he do that sooner then? Then there’s also a whole sidestory about the Caudwell family, which I actually enjoyed, but which caused this book to have less action and suspense than the previous ones.
It was a fun read though, but I would’ve liked if the story got a bit more depth. Billy is still an intriguing character, and I’d like to know more about him. Commanding time sounds great in theory, but it wasn’t as fun as it sounded.