Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes by Ivan Ertlov

Stargazer: New Home - Ancient Foes by Ivan Ertlov
Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes by Ivan Ertlov

The novel “Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes” (“Stargazer: Neue Heimat – Alte Feinde”) by Ivan Ertlov was published for the first time in 2021 and translated from German by Marly Gram. It’s the second book in the After Terra series and follows “Stargazer: The Ultimate Artefact“.

An area of the Milky Way arm that belongs neither to the Protectorate nor to the Plachtharr Alliance is used by pirates, criminals, and various groups of different species acting outside any law of the interstellar coalitions. This becomes more than just a nuisance to a mining consortium that lost physical assets that overall, have remarkable economical value and thousands of workers.

Frank Gazer and his unique group of fellow adventurers are the perfect envoys for an unofficial investigation. The crew of the starship Stargazer find themselves using special but limited resources in an area of space where dangers are unknown. The discovery they make is a huge surprise that can alter the balance in the entire galactic arm.

The After Terra series is set centuries after the destruction of the Earth. Frank Gazer is a human being, and for this reason, he had to work hard to achieve something better than a life as a miner. The situation of human beings among many sentient civilizations was clarified in the first book of this series, which you have to read to understand the situation between the Protectorate and the Plachtharr Alliance, the protagonists, and why they have a special spaceship such as the Stargazer.

A single arm of the galactic spiral makes up a very large area of space that extends far beyond the systems controlled by the species that form the coalitions known as the Protectorate and the Plachtharr Alliance. In “Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes”, Ivan Ertlov continues the exploration of this fictional universe by placing at the center of this novel an area of space that doesn’t belong to any coalition.

Ivan Ertlov was inspired by classic space opera for the After Terra series and also in “Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes” there are space journeys full of dangers that can lead to space battles. However, the author also continues to develop the protagonists’ stories and Frank Gazer is used to show humanity’s past, present, and even future.

Humans are still seen as potentially dangerous centuries after the destruction of the Earth. Frank Gazer has to work under special laws and the author offers new details about his personal story. Some of these details are connected to the fact that various species have a good opinion of humans only in terms of their meat’s taste. Ivan Ertlov includes various humorous moments, even on this subject, but sometimes the result remains quite brutal.

“Stargazer: The Ultimate Artefact” was used to introduce some of the alien species that are important in the Milky Way’s arm where Earth used to be and the complex relationships between them. In “Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes”, Ivan Ertlov focuses more on humanity’s situation with the problems caused by humans’ negative reputation.

With “Stargazer: New Home – Ancient Foes”, Ivan Ertlov still shows his creativity in reworking classic space opera elements and also offers some food for thought regarding human behavior and its consequences. This novel has a rather open ending with possible plot developments that will arrive in the next book of a series I recommend to lovers of space opera with many alien species.

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