REVIEW SUMMARY: The second novel in the Legion of the Damned prequel series brings readers back to the adventures of socialite-turned-solider, Cat Carletto, as her alter ego Andromeda McKee seeks vengeance on the ruler who murdered her family while trying to survive both the assassins set on her death and the hostile forces intent on the Legion’s destruction.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Her success as a Legionairre has earned Andromeda McKee the Imperial Order of Merit. In order to receive it she must leave the battlefield and return to Earth, which is possibly the most dangerous place she could ever find herself. An unanticipated opportunity for vengeance, a surprise reunion, and an assignment against overwhelming odds will teach the woman formally known as Lady Catherine Carletto several things about herself, some of which she may not like.
PROS: Builds upon the solid foundation laid down in Andromeda’s Fall; significant character development; intense battle sequences; satisfies the craving for strong military science fiction while building anticipation for the next book in the series.
CONS: Resistance story line is touched on far too briefly; the reaction of one character to a specific choice by the protagonist seems unnaturally absolute and was not supported by enough background information.
BOTTOM LINE: Author William C. Dietz has created a new jumping on point for readers unfamiliar with the long-running Legion of the Damned series that features a multifaceted character who matures over the course of this second novel. The first two novels in this series were released in 2013, giving readers an opportunity to get well and truly immersed in this world and in the journey of Andromeda McKee.
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.
Video games are an evolution of the human tradition of storytelling. It began as tales told around a fire, progressed into images painted on walls, developed into text printed on paper, and advanced to moving pictures accompanied by sound. Video games take story telling a step farther. The audience is no longer a passive spectator, but is instead an active participant in the story being told. Often authors are tapped to write tie-in fiction for popular video game franchises, and sometimes they are even hired on to help craft compelling stories for the games themselves.
We asked this week’s panelists…
Here’s what they said…
There was a time when killing aliens, monsters, and bad guys was enough. But not anymore. Now gamers want good writing too!
Yeah, yeah, I know. There are lots of games that don’t involve shooting things. And that’s good. But since I don’t play those games my expertise (such as it is) relates to shooting aliens, monsters and bad guys. And I believe good writing and good game play can coexist.
But before I get into that I should divulge that my perspective has been shaped by writing tie-in novels for franchises like Star Wars, Halo, Starcraft, Hitman, Resistance, and Mass Effect.
I’ve written games too, including Sony’s RESISTANCE: Burning Skies with Mike Bates, and the LEGION OF THE DAMNED® ios game with Conlan Rios. But I have never been a full-time employee of a gaming studio–so my knowledge is limited to what I have seen from the outside looking in.
Read the rest of this entry
Read on to see their level-setting responses…
That’s a softball. No. Literary sf and fantasy are not respected by mainstream critics or the mainstream professoriate. Neither needs mainstream approval, which would diminish (and perhaps destroy) both. Just look at what they DO respect. Look at what poetry was as late as the early 20th Century, and what it is now.
Now and then I’m asked at cons why I don’t write fiction of the respected sort. You know, he is a professor and she is a professor and they are having adulterous affairs, and they are almost overcome with guilt and angst, and there is no God, and scientific progress doesn’t enter into it, and just about everybody in the world is upper middle class.
When that happens, I ask the questioner abut Martin du Gard. Have you read him? Have you heard of him? Invariably the answers are no and no. Then I explain that Martin du Gard won the Nobel Prize for Literature in the year H. P. Lovecraft died.