The Dark Seas series is military space opera. Sometimes. At other times it’s soap opera. And sometimes it’s a WWII submarine movie. And still, at other times, it’s a love story.
To be honest I probably shouldn’t have it try to be all those things. But I can’t help it.
“Of course you can,” you say. “You are writing it. You can do as you like.”
This is true. I am writing it, and I can do as I like. Apparently what I like is to give my characters a living breathing world… scratch that. Universe to live in. Where magic exists, but is based on a previously undiscovered fifth force of the universe. Where people have human needs, hopes, and desires. Where betrayal comes at the cost of lives and loves lost. Where battle is for keeps. And death is eternal sleep in the cold abyss.
My overriding theme is partly about the Hive, but the fundamental level of the series is this: We humans are shitbags to each other.
Sure, we find those in life who treat us well. We all have some, maybe as many as a few hundred unless you’re famous. But the reality is that outside of that circle of those who love us, people will screw us over, plunder our successes, and steal everything we have. Maybe even kill us. No, not everyone. But enough that the world is a very dangerous place.
This is portrayed in the Dark Seas series. A bad corporation bent on industrial espionage creates the original Hive matrix. War ensues. Even so, elements inside humanity fight with each other even as they try to fight off the Hive. Unsuccessfully, because the Hive are unified. Humans are the farthest thing from that.
Dark Seas is a reflection of our world today, where even in America (The Alliance) we are factionalized and violent to each other. We rob, steal, murder, rape and destroy the essence of our fellow American. Again, not everyone. But enough that crime is a concern in our worlds. In book 3 this theme looms large for Sarah Dayson. She encounters betrayal and learns a very valuable lesson about human character.
But even in this, there is hope. People make heroic sacrifices. The children of humanity, the Adepts, rise to the occasion that Sarah finds herself in. Despite horrible brutality and the lingering pain of loss, Sarah’s friends become her salvation.
I think that message is important in our daily lives. When the world seems to want more blood than we can spare, our friends are our saving grace.