Thursday, January 22, 2015

Originator-Joel Shepherd

Joel Shepherd
Pyr, Jan 6 2015, $18.00
ISBN: 9781616149925

The human civil war between the Federation and League has left many casualties with the trend heading towards extinction.  Fearing for the species in spite of being a synthetic human loathed by purebreds, Federation Specials Ops GI Cassandra “Sandy” Kresnov and her comrades in arms try to avert another war,  However, the mass extermination of Cesta innocents by lunatics with Talee-implanted technology inside them leave hundreds of thousands dead and hostilities between the two major human groups heated.

In Tanusa, Cai the synthetic Talee investigates human use of his race’s ancient technology.  Cai cautions Sandy that his people nearly went extinct when they went down the same technological path the humans are following, and his people will exterminate anyone who they think might go that way to insure a lethal repeat does not happen.  Eluding the League and the Talee, the father of human synthetics, Renaldo Takewashi arrives in Federation space claiming that the implant in Sandy’s youngest adopted child Kiril will prevent the psychosis from happening.  Only his insistence is a major portion of what Cai warned Sandy has terrorized the Talee into taking action.

The sixth tremendous Cassandra Kresnov military science fiction (see Operation Shield and 23 Years on Fire) once again is a complex timely outer space thriller anchored by plenty of action and a strong cast, but also interweaves a deep look at real issues (like expanding rights to others).  Sandy makes the fresh storyline thrilling; as she faces conflicting dilemmas between being a grizzly momma protecting her cubs and as a GI defending a species that refuses to grant her or her peers the inalienable human rights they should have had regardless of origin but clearly earned in combat.

Harriet Klausner

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