Book Review: The Year Before The End


The Year Before The End by Vidar Hokstad

The Year Before the End is an action packed introduction to the Sovereign Earth Cycle book series. Six books are planned by self-published author Vidar Hokstad. 

It's the year 2144. Forty years ago humans first learned we are not alone. An alien civilization established contact by way of signals emanating from Alpha Centauri. The aliens, dubbed the Centari, provide a template for building gate pairs that allow a space ship to move instantly from one paired gate to another. Using this technology has allowed humans to build gate pairs throughout the solar system, allowing for a rapid uptick in colonization and exploitation of Mars and the Belt. 

A large gate is being constructed to pair with a "gate core" being transported to Alpha Centauri by humans to integrate into a Centauri built gate. These paired gates will allow humanity to connect to a vast system of other paired gates throughout the galaxy. This Earth-Centauri gate pair is slated to go online in the next year. 

Zara Ortega is the captain of the Black Rain. She and her crew are tasked by a shadowy figure with a mission to disrupt a purported conspiracy between Mars separatists and the Centauri to split the solar system between them once the Earth-Centauri gates are open. Their mission and all that comes from it are the subject of The Year Before the End

From start to finish the action comes right at you on a roller coaster ride of a story. Hokstad does a great job of grounding the story in realistic science, which is doled out in just the right doses to support the action and keep it going. 

As the story progressed, taking the captain and her crew from one encounter to the next, I couldn't help but think that it would make for a great adaptation into a graphic novel. The only sour note for me was that I wished there had been a bit more time spent on character development. While we do get back stories for the captain and her crew, they aren't as well developed as I would have liked, especially if we're meant to be following them through six books.

If you are a fan of action packed science fiction series, The Year Before the End looks to be the start of a good one. Book 2 of the series should be released later this year. 

I give The Year Before the End Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. 


  • The Year Before the End is self published by Hokstad Publishing and is available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon. 
  • I was provided a free review copy by the author in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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