Joshua Dalzelle is hands down my favorite current author. I’ll read anything he pens as quickly as it hits the shelves. He doesn’t have much of an online presence, just facebook
accounts where he occasionally dangles a carrot in front of our faces by way of cover art for an upcoming book, or actual release dates and announcements.
His Omega Force books are quick and sarcastic with enough detail to let you get lost in the story, but not bogged down in the details. The series is centered around Captain James Burke, former Air Force Pararescueman turned lone man in space, who flies around the galaxy with his merry band of screwballs in a stolen ship. The ship is too fast, and the characters are too smart and daring for their own good. His crew consists of a code slicer, engineer, doctor, brawler, heavy weapons expert, and himself. All of these crewmembers have layers and backstories, and when the gang isn’t turning the galaxy on its head they are constantly pushing each other’s buttons. Throughout the stories, the dialog between the group kept me entertained, and made me laugh. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of these books.
While each book in the series has its own story arch, Dalzelle is also able to thoughtfully create overarching conflicts that seamlessly build over multiple books before crashing into the characters. These help give the reader a glimpse into the mind and motivations of the players that inhabit the Omega Force universe.
In an interview with Fiona McVie in her authorsinterviews
blog, he related where the idea for the series came from. While suffering a late night case of writers block “It just so happened there was a back-to-back marathon of Knight Rider and the A-Team on late night cable and I thought, “That’s what I need to write, something fun …
That is exactly what this series is, a sci-fi version of the A-Team. A lighthearted story about a crew that always ends up with their back against the wall, but inevitably (and many times with the help of other characters) find a way to get out of danger.
In the previously cited interview, Dalzelle noted that the book was initially just going to be a quick, fun read and would help him get over the writers block he was suffering from. However, he fell in love with the characters during writing and has continued the series. Book 9 of the series is due out some time this year and many of us are waiting (im)patiently for it to arrive.
If I were ever able to write a novel or series, this is what I would want to write.