Book review: 'Commodore Farmer' an intergalactic adventure
For the Deseret News
"COMMODORE FARMER," by Gene McMurty, AKW Books, $6.50, 431 pages (f)
“Commodore Farmer,” Utah author Gene McMurtry’s first science fiction ebook, is an intergalactic adventure of intrigue, deception, suspense and the victory of good over evil.
The story begins with the interplanetary wedding of Prince Westmoreland "Wesley" James Andrew Ayr am-Spotsylvania and Princess Alicia Tsinndorf — heroes and heirs to the thrones of two neighboring planets.
The wedding provides a vehicle for the author to introduce many of the main characters, which include the wedding couple; Archbishop Stilton "Stilt" Farnsworth Canterbury am-Oceanside, a treacherous villain; and an assortment of other important members of the royal families.
For years, the archbishop has schemed for ways to rule the planets of Spotsylvania and Tsinndorf. His plan involves an extensive spy ring, bribery, lying, deaths by poisoning, and the kidnapping of Karl, the heir apparent — son of Wesley and Alicia.
Karl is the namesake of Commodore Karl J. Wahlenmaier, a terraformer — one who creates earthlike environments on un-earthlike planets. The book’s title comes from his nickname, Commodore Farmer. Walenmaier keeps a low profile, but has impressive resources and connections; he is not who he appears to be.
Will Stilt achieve his goal of interplanetary power? Will Karl be reunited with his parents? Just who is Commodore Karl J. Wahlenmaier? As the tale twists and turns to its end, these and other questions are answered in some unexpected ways.
“Commodore Farmer” is definitely G-rated. References to God, prayer, fasting and church attendance are made in subtle, positive ways. The heroes live by high moral values. A few typos — along with spelling and punctuation errors sprinkled throughout the book — are annoying, but don’t get in the way of the story.
McMurtry, who lives in Kaysville, has a self-proclaimed, decades-long passion for science fiction and is a science buff with degrees in biology and human nutrition. According to the author’s website, the science used in the book is real.