By Honor Betray’d ★★★✬☆

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Title: By Honor Betray’d
Series: Mageworlds #3
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 359
Words: 123.5K



Synopsis:

From Isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?6211

The war is over. The Magelords have won.

Galcen has fallen. The Space Force is broken and scattered. The planets of the former Republic are rushing to make peace with the victorious Mages.

All that remains is mopping up. Minor details. A privateer or two, a few Adepts who remain alive and on the run, and the hereditary ruler of a lifeless planet.

Beka Rosselin-Metadi, the last Domina of Lost Entibor, possesses little more than a famous name and a famous ship. With them she must salvage what she can from the wreckage of the Republic. Her enemies are too many to count, her friends too few to make a difference. She can trust no one except herself, her crew – and the family she ran away from years before.

Beka has resources few suspect: a hidden base, a long-forgotten oath, and a dead man’s legacy. But she has problems as well; for in a universe gone mad neither friends nor enemies are all that they may seem.

A play that began in treachery and blood five hundred years before has reached its final act. A broken galaxy will be sundered forever, or else made whole.

My Thoughts:

So, while there are 7 books in this series, these first 3 books comprise the whole of the Second Mage Wars. And it’s not really much of a war either. Both sides have highly placed individuals secretly working towards peace with the other side.

This paragraph will contain spoilers. Not that I care about such things, but on the 1000 to 1 chance that somebody who follows me would ever read these, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for them. Because the Grandmaster of the Adepts turns out to be the badguy who had Beka’s mother killed. Only she wasn’t really, but was placed in stasis by a Magelord and it was up to Beka to revive her and up to her Adept brother and Mage sister-in-law to bring her mind back.

It was a whirlwind of revelations and counter-twists and everything gets wrapped up in a bow. I’m usually not one to complain about that but this time it felt kind of deus ex machina than if it had organically happened. Now I’m wondering what the next 4 books will be about?

A good bit of my enthusiasm waned, dramatically, when it was revealed who the badguy all along had been. It was too cliched. Makes me wonder if the final Star Wars trilogy stole their Grumpy Dispeptic Luke idea from this.

There was still a lot of action. Beka almost gets killed on public tv, Ari gets married, Owen takes over the Adept Order and gets his own apprentice and the Mage Worlder General is revealed to be a peacemongerer. Shocking!

I enjoyed this overall but I won’t be beating the drum the same way unless the next books are super fantastic. Good space opera but not excellent space opera.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Starpilot’s Grave ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Starpilot’s Grave
Series: Mageworlds #2
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 357
Words: 124.5K



Synopsis:

From Isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pe.cgi?3526 & Me

Beka Rosselin-Metadi and her crew get involved in the beginning of the Second Magewar. privateer and a planetary ruler must join forces to defeat the Mages.

From the back cover of the Tor Books first edition) Blockaded, restricted, and forgotten – the Mageworlds would never threaten the Republic again.

A broken and drifting ship, its long-dead captain still strapped in the command seat: that’s what free-spacers call a starpilot’s grave. When one of these derelict craft appears in the Net, the artificial barrier zone separating the Republic from the Mageworlds, the discovery is no accident. It’s a sign, a warning that the Mageworlds have not forgotten the Republic – and the Mageworlds make long plans.

But the Mageworlds weren’t planning on Beka Rosselin-Metadi.

Beka has unfinished business to take care of, and his name is Ebenra D’Caer: the man who arranged her mother’s murder. D’Caer is safe, – he thinks – hidden among the Mages on the far side of the Net. Flying under a false name and false colors, Beka penetrates the Magezone and finds more than anyone expected: the Magelords have discovered a fatal weakness in the Republic’s defenses, and are poised to wreak their vengeance on the hated enemy. The Mages are too strong. They must prevail. Unless one woman in one ship can do the impossible.

In the end, Beka accepts the crown of Entibor-in-Exile to rally the republic forces, which are divided by a traitor admiral, who brokered a deal with the magelords.

My Thoughts:

Beka remains the Main main character but this time her other brother Owen gets the majority of the main main character time whereas it was her brother Ari who got the spotlight last time. Considering this novel is about the mageworlds breaking the blockade and taking over the republic, and Owen is the main Adept, it’s only right we should get a good chunk from his view.

One thing about Owen, it’s obvious he has a lot of growing to do and we’ll see that in these stories. He’s spent so much time completely dedicated to the Adepts that he’s pretty much forgone growth as a human being. Thank goodness he hooked up with a whore who has magical potential. That should educate him quite quickly. The biggest issue with Owen was that he didn’t trust the head of his Order because that guy (who is the equivalent of Luke in Star Wars) didn’t do things how Owen thought he should when the Mage’s attacked. Goes to show his trust was pretty thin and brittle.

As for Beka, holy smokes, that girl continues to kick some serious butt! She’s racing around killing people who were involved in her mother’s death, dealing with the mageworlds, dealing with corrupt Republic forces and then has to deal with her father disappearing and no one listening to her because she supposedly died in the previous book. Her taking the crown of Entibor-in-Exile shows that she’s willing to do whatever it takes even though she knows that action will most likely kill her as it did her mother.

Since this series revolves around the Adepts and the Mages, Llannat Hyfid is necessary, almost more so than Owen. She’s learning from both sides and it wouldn’t surprise me if by the end of the series either the Adepts and Mages become one, or, more likely in my opinion, there starts up a third branch of magic users. What is really interesting to me is how Doyle and MacDonald have reversed how the two sides operate. The Adepts have a Master/Apprentice setup and then each apprentic goes off on his own and the cycle repeats. The Mages use groups to form circles, almost exactly like what Jordan uses for the Aes Sedai in the Wheel of Time series. The Leader of the Adepts is actually known as Circle Breaker, for his habit of destroying entire circles of Mages during the first Mage War.

Anyway, the main reason this was downgraded a halfstar from the previous book was the slight increase in points of view. I am NOT a fan of a huge cast of characters and unless handled with absolutely perfect writing, it gets more confusing than is worth it. I am hoping the next book cuts back on the cast of characters or at least brings several together.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Price of the Stars ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Price of the Stars
Series: Mageworlds #1
Authors: Debra Doyle & James Macdonald
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 406
Words: 143.5K



Synopsis:

From Fritzfreiheit.com/wiki/Mageworlds_(series)

Freebooter at heart, spacer by trade, Beka Rosselin-Metadi doesn’t want to hear about how her father whose rugged general ship held back the Mageworlds — or her highborn mother whose leadership has held the galaxy together since. Beka pilots spacecraft — as far from her famous family as possible.

Then Beka’s mother is assassinated on the Senate floor, and her father offers her the title to Warhammer, prize ship from his own freebooting youth — if she agrees to deliver the assassins to him “off the books.”

Looking for assassins has a tendency to make assassins look for you. In doing so, Beka’s arranged her own very public death and adopted a new identity; now all she has to do is leave a trail of kidnappings and corpses across five star systems, and blow the roof off the strongest private fortress in the galaxy.

My Thoughts:

This book, the first of seven, was published in 1992. Timothy Zahn had published his seminal Heir to the Empire in 1991 which ignited the much beloved and much maligned Star Wars Extended Universe. This obviously was trying to catch some of that popularity. While it may not have taken off like the EU, where it was FAR more successful was in how it passed the torch to the next generation.

What killed the the EU (besides Lucas simply killing it off because he’s a jackass, just like Disney, but Disney is a jackass whore) was the fact that none of the writers used ever created any characters who could hold a torch to the Big 3 (Luke, Leia and Han). Even one of the final books, Crucible, was ALL about those 3 characters while ignoring sub-characters who were supposed to be the next generation of heroes.

Doyle & Macdonald don’t make the mistake of passing the torch. That’s already done. And what’s more, one of the big 3 is killed right at the beginning, thus propelling the whole adventure. It was handled masterfully. When I started the Galaxy’s Edge series I was overpowered by the Star Wars vibe. It was Stormtroopers as the goodguys and it was fantastic. This series had the Star Wars vibe, but it was much more of the rogue’ish trader and mystic than the military. It was a different aspect but it was just as fun.

My only complaint was that the timeline didn’t feel like it was told as. I believe this book was supposed to have taken about 2 years but honestly, it felt like 2 months. That’s a nitpicky thing, I know.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Order of the Centurion (Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #1)

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Title: The Order of the Centurion
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Order of the Centurion #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 218
Words: 73.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

“The Order of the Centurion is the highest award that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in, or with, the Legion. When such an individual displays exceptional valor in action against an enemy force, and uncommon loyalty and devotion to the Legion and its legionnaires, refusing to abandon post, mission, or brothers, even unto death, the Legion dutifully recognizes such courage with this award.”

Tired of sitting out the war on Psydon in a mobile office hab, Legion Lieutenant Washam agrees to undertake a covert and unsanctioned mission with a band of Republic Recon Marines. Inserted deep behind enemy lines, the strike force uncovers a surprise key to ending a bitter war. Now they must navigate a hostile jungle teeming with murderous alien rebels, pushing themselves to the limits of their abilities, to get this vital intel to Legion Command–if they can survive that long.

THE ORDER OF THE CENTURION is an all-new series of stand-alone military science fiction thrillers set in the GALAXY’S EDGE universe, ranging from the Savage Wars to the arrival of the Black Fleet. Each book features the legendary heroes of the Legion who forgot nothing in their earning of the Legion’s highest honor.

My Thoughts:

As the blurb above states, this series is actually a bunch of stand-alone novels dealing with various heroes of the Legion over time. I’m good with some stand-alones at the moment. A good solid Mil-SF book filled with heroics aptly fits my needs.

I was kind of expecting this book, by Anspach and Cole alone, to be about the first time the Order of the Centurion was awarded. But instead they chose a time period soon after the Savage Wars had ended and as the Republic is stretching its wings. It’s also when the Republic’s House of Reason began appointing Officers to the Legion in an underhanded way to bring it under their control. So not only do the authors choose that time period, they choose 2 Points (short hand for Appointed Officer) to tell the story, as one of them is the guy who gets the award, post-humuously. It also does a fantastic job of showing how much politics goes into even something that should have been sacred from the filthy hands of the politicians.

Usually I thoroughly enjoy the characters portrayed but not so much this tme. The Point who gets the award is everything that the Legion feared a Point would be. The other is his friend but actually went through Legionnaire training and successfully become a Legionnaire on his own. The problem is that the friend kept excusing the Bad Point for the whole book and even at the end thinks well of him. Thankfully all of the supporting characters were great and really pushed the story on.

One of the side characters is an actual Leej and not only that, but a Dark Operator. He’s just biding his time per his commander’s orders so that he can retire with full benefits and get his pension, which will allow him to live with his wife and two sons and reconnect with them. He was the character I connected with and wished that he had received the medal and recognition. He showed the spirit of the Legionnaires and that was enough to carry the story, thankfully.

Like I noted before, this was by Anspach and Cole alone. After this, other authors are going to be writing the stories under the direction of A&C. I am hesitant about that. For my own sake I hope it turns out well but I’ve experienced too many instances of other authors playing in someone’s sandbox and, while not ruining things, just not getting it and so being out of step and awkward for established readers.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Hundred (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #3) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Hundred
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #3
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 251
Words: 109.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

THE LEGION HAS LANDED.

One hundred men met the brutal standards of General Tyrus Rechs and became legionnaires.

One hundred men embarked on a suicide mission to retake New Vega from the Savages.

One hundred men stood up… for the galaxy.

Galaxy’s Edge: The Hundred is the exciting conclusion to the Savage Wars trilogy as the Legion launches a desperate, brutal assault against the overwhelming forces of the Savage Alliance.

My Thoughts:

Out of the 250 pages, the battle was about 200 of them. So if ultra-tough space marines on steriods, ie, the Legionnaires, don’t get your motor running, this book definitely isn’t for you. In all honesty, this sub-series of the Galaxy’s Edge series isn’t for you and I’d even question if the entire GE series was for you or not. This is Mil-SF with enough Space Opera to keep it from becoming Tom Clancy Presents: Jack Ryan the 15th, In Space!

Where the previous book, Gods and Legionnaires, was divided into 2 books, one about the Savages and one about the Legionnaires, this was 90% about the 100 Legionnaires taking back the planet New Vega. The book actually starts 50-100 years after the events take place with the few surviving Legionnaires from that battle being honored. Coupled with the vague references from previous GE books, we knew that the 100 were whittled down to almost nothing before kicking the Savages off New Vega.

Even Tyrus Rechs dies. Of course, because of the magic scyenze mojo the Savages did on him when he was their prisoner, he comes back to life, but he takes a new call sign so that as far as the Legion is concerned, Rechs is dead. He set out to do what he needed to and now it is time to recover.

We’re also introduced to Aeson Ford, the guy from the first season of Galaxy’s Edge. Considering this took place 1500-2000 years before those books, I was wondering if it was the same guy. But right at the end of the book he gets drafted into some sort of Super Magic Scyenze Cryogenics program, so yep, it’s him. That was fun to see.

This was the final book in the Savage Wars sub-series and I thought that Anspach and Cole did an admirable job of relating a story that took place 2000 years before. They didn’t go overboard and try to describe every nut and bolt or color of every bird’s feather but neither were they Idea Only people like some of the old masters like Asimov or even Clarke. The blood, the grit and the determination were here in spades and I loved every second of it.

Next up for me and Galaxy’s Edge is the Order of the Centurion series. I’ll talk about exactly what they entail when I review the first book, Order of the Centurion, but it will be something a bit different as each of the 5 books in the series is mainly written by some other author while Anspach and Cole stamp their name on the book and keep control of their universe. I hope it turns out ok. Sometimes letting other authors play in your sandbox doesn’t turn out well. But for the first time in my entire life, I’m going to think positively and believe that I’m going to love Order of the Centurion as much as all the previous GE series 😀

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Gods and Legionnaires (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #2) ★★★★☆

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Title: Gods and Legionnaires
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #2
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 390
Words: 132.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

The Coalition is reeling. New Vega and its other worlds have fallen beneath the boot of the newly allied Savage marines, and the death count continues to rise at a staggering rate. One thing is clear: the war to come will be a fight for the very survival of the species. For both sides in this conflict, now is the time to become what fate, and victory, demand.

The Savages—post-human monsters who believe themselves to be gods—are intent on remaking civilization in their own violent and pathological image. Yet their alliance is tenuous. Among the many tribes of the Uplifted, as they call themselves, the struggle for supremacy rages on. All know that in the end there can be only one tribe. One leader. One truth.

Meanwhile humanity’s last, desperate hope is the formation of a new kind of fighting force: The Legion. Those select few who are hardy enough—or foolish enough—to undertake the relentless, grueling, and merciless candidate training will have the chance to be transformed into mythical heroes… or die trying. They will be pushed beyond their physical and mental limits as they seek to survive an unforgiving planet, lost and derelict ghost spaceships, and worst of all, the cold, unflinching brutality of Tyrus Rechs. At the end of this crucible, only the one percent of the one percent will earn the right to be called ….. Legionnaires.

My Thoughts:

In many ways, this was 2 books. The first part, Gods, followed one Savage Marine from after his time on New Vega to a new joint operation by another clan of Savages. What the rest of the Savages don’t know is that the Savage Marine (who I’ll call Johnny) has been tasked by his masters to introduce a virus into the Savage Alliance to subtley draw all the savages under control of one clan, Johnny’s clan.

Between fights we get Johnny’s history from when he fled from Earth during the scattering thousands of years ago, to what happened on the Savage Ship. We also realize how technologically advanced in some areas the Savages are and yet how internally focused they are which only heightens their arrogance, paranoia and sense of godhood. Then you come to realize just much they’ve messed with their minds and you can’t believe a thing they think about themselves. It was intriguing and disturbing all rolled into one.

The second part was about the formation of the Legion itself. Nobody but Tyrus realizes just how brutal the training must be and that only a total bastard can forge others into being the tough mothers the galaxy needs at the moment. Opposed by the very Alliance that is placing their hopes on him, by his best friend Caspar and even by the very soldiers he is trying to train, Tyrus doesn’t let any of that slow him down or stop him. He has a job that only he can do and he’ll finish it.

While I enjoy a good military training montage, something about this one just didn’t quite grab me. Part of it is that Tyrus isn’t much of a person any more. There are a squadron of Legionnaires who we get to know which was good but it wasnt “quite” enough either.

Overall, this was a really enjoyble story and gave a lot of backstory. This Galaxy’s Edge universe continues to keep me interested and to tell a good story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exodus: Empires at War, Part I (Exodus: Empires at War #1) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Exodus: Empires at War, Part I
Series: Exodus: Empires at War #1
Author: Doug Dandridge
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 255
Words: 103.5K



Synopsis:

Thousands of years ago, humanity began exploring the galaxy. A nascent empire was born. They encountered the Cara’carn, an alien empire that held itself to be pinnacle of life. The Cara’carn began a systematic slaughter of every system, world and moon that humanity had cultivated. Finally, all that was left was Earth. With 7 Ark ships, each equipped with a prototype FTL drive, humanity had to hope that at least one of the seven would escape and allow them to start over in an area unknown to the Cara’carn.

One ship did succeed. And they succeeded so well that Humanity became the dominant force in that galaxy and became a true Empire. Cara’carn became the bogeyman for the majority of humanity but the Empire never forgot that they had been driven away by a superior force. As such, they did their best to prepare for the inevitable clash when the two Empires met again.

This book chronicles the first encounters between the two Empires.

My Thoughts:

This was decent space opera. Dandridge did almost lose me because of the massive amount of POV’s that he decided to use. I understood why he needed to use so many, as trying to get a good picture of an Empire that doesn’t have instantaneous communications necessitates that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. And if he continues to use such a plurality in future books I can guarantee I won’t be continuing. But that’s neither here nor there.

I really wish I had more to say, but “decent” sums it adequately. Nothing really bad beyond the POV’s stood out to me and nothing really good stood out either. There is nothing wrong with being a “decent” story, it just makes it hard for the reviewer to say anything.

That being the case, I’m going to talk about the cover, because hey, why not? The layout reminded me VERY much of Mike Resnick’s Starship series. Not exactly the same but so similar that even though I had finished the Starship series back in ’13, these covers still reminded me of them. Starship was published from 2005-2009 and the Exodus: Empires at War series by Dandridge didn’t start up until ’12. So either they used the same cover artist (which is quite likely) or Dandridge pulled some skullduggery. While I always enjoy some good skullduggery, I’m going with using the same cover artist because nothing in Dandridge’s writing suggests an evil mastermind genius.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Savage Wars (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #1) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Savage Wars
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF / Space Opera
Pages: 397
Words: 118K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

The greatest conflict the galaxy has ever known…

They were the Savages. Raiders from our distant past. Elites who left Earth to create tailor-made utopias aboard the massive lighthuggers that crawled through the darkness between the stars. But the people they left behind on a dying planet didn’t perish in the dystopian nightmare the Savages had themselves created: they thrived, discovering faster-than-light technology and using it to colonize the galaxy ahead of the Savages, forming fantastic new civilizations that surpassed the wildest dreams of Old Earth.

Until the Savages came in from the Darkness…

When a Savage hulk lands on glittering New Vega, one of the crown jewels of the post-Earth galaxy, a coalition of planetary governments amasses their forces to respond to the post-human Savage Marines who’ve come to sack and enslave. But what the coalition forces find is something far more sinister than the typical Savage hit-and-run: this time, the Savages have come to stay.

Witness the intense beginning of THE SAVAGE WARS, the epic conflict, built into the lore of GALAXY’S EDGE, that will encompass over a thousand years of brutal fighting. Only the greatest military force in the galaxy can bring this war to an end… and the galaxy will never again be the same.

Experience the beginning of the Legion. Experience the Savage Wars.

My Thoughts:

This new trilogy starts before the Legion existed and before the Savages were vanquished. This mainly takes place on one world that has been invaded by the Savages. To this point, the Savages have always operated alone and conducted hit and run raids, sucking an individual world dry of all resources, including people. This time is different. They’ve set down roots. They’ve allied with other Savage clans.To date, the only way to destroy a Savage Ship has been to nuke the world and burn it to its underbed. And only one man has had the courage to do so, Tyrus Rechs. Declared an enemy of humanity, Rechs has his fans and detractors amongst the various politcal factions out in the galaxy.

Embedded secretly amongst the military forces, Rechs has a plan to nuke the planet. He has help from Caspar, another Immortal who has worked his way up to become an Admiral amongst one of the Factions. He covers for Rechs and gives him the opportunity to use the nuke.

Tyrus saves a small group of soldiers who then pledge themselves to help him get the nuke to the grounded Savage ship. Along the way they realize the Savages have put the entire population into cold storage as a food source. Rechs can’t bring himself to nuke the planet knowing the population is still alive. He does get the idea to start a military force made up of the best of the best and answerable to no one but himself. Thus the seed of the Legion is planted.

This felt like a long book. It was good, with some serious ground pounder military action but it just felt long, if you know what I mean.

Overall, this was another great entry in the Galaxy’s Edge universe. It was also a great peek into the far history of Tyrus Rechs. 1500 years is a long time. There are 2 more Savage Wars books, so we’ll have to see if we take great big time jumps or if it really focuses on the creation of the Legion. Either way, I’m looking forward to them 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Madame Guillotine (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #3) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Madame Guillotine
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #3
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 339
Words: 104.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

Leave no man behind.

On Detron, a simmering protest boils over and turns deadly when militants hiding among the demonstrators deliberately shoot down a group of legionnaires, executing one survivor and taking two for ransom. The only Republic asset the captured leejes can rely on is a lone marine sniper who defies orders in a desperate attempt to save them.

But a troubled sea of hostile riots, looting, and murder is too much for anyone to navigate safely.

Except Tyrus Rechs. Following a trail that links the riots and deaths to a demagogue known in the underground as Madame Guillotine, the bounty hunter must fight his way above, beneath, and through the sweltering city to bring the prisoners back home…and make those responsible pay.

Join the adventure as Tyrus Rechs stops at nothing to take down a nefarious conspiracy before it has a chance to take root in the very Republic that wants him dead.

My Thoughts:

TYRANNASQUID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And imagine if Jabba the Hutt was a 9ft tall warrior crocodile? What if R2D2 was a psychotic little warbot that dreamt of shooting guns and blowing things up? Then combine Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker into one person and BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMM, you have the best Star Wars homage scene that has ever existed. I will be re-reading at least this book some time in the future simply for this part of the story, it was awesome!

Storywise, this felt like the weakest of the Tyrus Rechs series. It is evident that Rechs is reaching the point where he doesn’t care about the Republic anymore but his duty is still driving him. He’s not quite the man we meet in Season One of Galaxy’s Edge but he’s only one step away.

This was a very pointed political book in terms of just how corrupt the Republic has become. It’s not as fun as the previous books nor as “rah rah kick their ass” either. Good soldiers die because of bad political decisions and it is sad.

This is the latest in the Tyrus Rechs sub-series. It was released last year (2020) and I don’t know if there will be another one or not. Personally, this seems like a fitting place for this sub-series to end.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Red Noise ★★✬☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Red Noise
Series: ———-
Author: John Murphy
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 365
Words: 112.5K



Synopsis:

From Rosie Writes

‘Jane’ or ‘the Miner’ desperately needs food and fuel, so she puts in to an asteroid-based space station, Station 35. Here she is ripped off by the ore company, finds three rival gangs in control and at each others’ throats, while the ‘decent’ population, lead by ‘Mr Shine’ hunker down in the lower depths of the station, except bar-owner/chef Takata and Station Master Herrera, who both refuse to be forced out of the galleria. Jane decides she’s going to clean up the Station and hand it back to ‘decent folks’.

Plans don’t exactly go as expected.

Basically, have you seen any of those old westerns, the ones based on Japanese films, like Seven Samurai, reworked as westerns, or Clint Eastwood’s work, like Fistful of Dollars? Think that aesthetic, but in space.

My Thoughts:

Former Special Space Forces “Jane” is a ronin, a lone cowboy, all by her lonesome and wanting to keep it that way. This is a samurai cowboy in space story with all of the attendent cliches. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, just something to keep in mind.

Unfortunately, this didnt grab me at all. I wasn’t exactly bored or wondering when things would wrap up, but my first reaction upon finishing the book was “that’s it, that’s all I get?” I felt let down. A generally vague dissatisfaction accompanied me throughout my entire read of this book but there is nothing concrete I can point to.

It might be a matter of tastes not aligning. I wouldn’t argue against that interpretation and I won’t say that this is a bad book, but my goodness, it just felt so pedestrian! The tiredness of the main character permeated every aspect of this book and just made it a chore to read.

If you like Samurai Space Cowboys, In Space, this might work for you. Try it. If you’re on the fence, then go read some other reviews and approach cautiously. If you’re an adrenaline junky, then this definitely isn’t for you.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.