This novel builds an Intriguing and frightening glimpse of a possible distant future for human-kind. Individual rights are non-existent if your talents or skills are needed in order to supposedly protect the greater whole. I picked this book up, and then literally simply could not force myself to put it down until I finished reading it.
This story is disturbing. A brilliant man, Lt Adrian Stannis, suffers unbelievable agony, because he refuses to subjugate himself to the whims and wants of a Military Elite whose stated glorified, humanistic purpose differs significantly from its heavy-fisted, uncompromising cruelty against those who dare to challenge its unchecked power.
The description of life aboard the space-faring vehicles seems so realistic, and the political maneuverings so complex, that I felt like I was there in the middle of the strife. Mind games and secret agendas are the norm in this story of humankind in a fight for their very existence against an outside foe with superior technology. At the same time forced to fight on a second front against a very determined, committed rebel force that refuses to cooperate and knuckle under to a hated and feared military leadership operating under a strict hierarchy, similar to Marshall Law.
The first in a planned series, this book lays the framework for what will surely be a mesmerizing space saga.
WARNING: Contains graphic scenes of torture and violence.
A Night Owl Reviews 4.5 Stars Top Pick Title.
A finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
"It will be interesting to discover which will make you beg. Will it be the pain or the pleasure?"
How do you tame a man without breaking his spirit?
The galaxy is under siege from alien invaders. The Empire is the only force that stands in their way, trading the freedom of its citizens for a tenuous security.
Amidst this chaos, Lt. Adrian Stannis is a brilliant scientist trying to stay out of the limelight. He hides on a research vessel plying the Outer Rim and finds peace of a sort with Kali Mirren, a psi-enabled humanoid. But his days of anonymity may be coming to an end. Someone has discovered his secret and is determined to make him pay for his treachery. He must finish the project he abandoned years ago, one the Council deems essential in its fight against the aliens, but things are never that simple where Adrian is concerned.
Is he more man than machine, or have years hiding behind a mountain of logic eroded his humanity? Can he survive the tangled web of political expediency and psychological manipulation that surrounds him? Will Kali be able to save him from himself, or is there a mystery surrounding him that may explode in their faces?
Everyone wants to know the truth, but will it set them free?