On the faraway planet of Bona Dea, in a society forged by ancient settlers, trouble is brewing. Young psychic Axandra, never comfortable with her gift, is being forced to use it for the benefit of her people as ruling matriarch of the entire world and host to a powerful entity known only as the Goddess.
Struggling with her fate, used as a pawn between warring factions, life for Axandra is almost too much to bear. Even the ministrations of her beloved companion, Quinn, may not prove powerful enough to overcome the stress threatening to destroy Axandra’s fragile soul.
This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It is well written, providing a balance of character-building, suspense, and action packaged in 233 pages you’ll breeze through.
Selena Dillon is an officer in the Penal Corps, the last chance for convicted criminals to escape the harsh sentence of prison or death. She commits herself to providing the best service she is capable of, hoping one day to finish the job she started back home.
The characters are brutally savage at times, but softened now and then by having real emotions and affection for each other. This story isn’t just about the dangers of space or the politics of colonization, or even the dangers of alien species as human beings spread throughout the galaxy. There are so many vital interactions between the characters that there aren’t many wasted words in this novel. Only on one occasion did I feel a reverse in the momentum mid-book, leading me to wonder briefly if the plot was heading in the direction I expected – but once the action re-intensified, I was not disappointed.
While this story stands alone well on its own, there is a fabulous lead-in to Book Two of the Darkening Stars series that I am looking forward to reading. I am greatly intrigued by the premise that human kind has been out to the stars before and fought the very same war. Those who forget history are bound to repeat it?
If you love dark sci-fi with a glance into some evil minds, you’ll enjoy reading A Pride of Lions.