BRIEF SYNOPSIS: When a hostile takeover of Earth’s rulership results in the wholesale killing of her family, Lady Catherine Carletto goes into hiding in the one place sure to teach her how to exact revenge: the Legion.
PROS: Balanced portrayal of the “strong female” character type; intense battle scenes; clever examination of the benefits of and fears surrounding artificial intelligence; great jumping on point for readers who haven’t read the Legion of the Damned series.
CONS: Feels rushed until protagonist exits basic training; protagonist benefits from convenient circumstances.
BOTTOM LINE: Military SF accessible to those not familiar with the subgenre featuring a likeable protagonist, a ruthless villain, and enough surprises and pounding action to propel the reader forward.
Here the question arises; whether it is better to be loved than feared or feared than loved. The answer is that it would be desirable to be both but, since that is difficult, it is much better to be feared…
~Niccolo Machiavelli (The Prince)
Author William C. Dietz takes readers back to the early days of his bestselling Legion of the Damned series to present one woman’s great fall and the hero’s journey she embarks upon to rise again and exact her revenge. When Princess Ophelia Ordanus decides to murder her brother, Earth’s ruling Emperor, her plans include the elimination of all of the Emperor’s close allies. This includes the Carletto family whose company has been instrumental in the field of cybernetics. Catherine “Cat” Carletto is a smart, beautiful young woman with her own education in the family business who has chosen a more vapid existence as a party-going socialite. Her life of privileged disaffection comes crashing down around her as she is informed of her parents’ demise and her own very imminent death. When synthetic assassins arrive at the site of the latest upper crust gathering, she realizes she must use her wits and do the unexpected in order to stay alive. It just so happens the Legion recruiting office is open and with no where else to turn, Cat Carletto dies and Legionnaire Andromeda McKee is born.