Reviewed by Dan
SERIES: Shield #3
AUTHOR: Anna Butler
PUBLISHER: Wilde City Press
LENGTH: 296 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 7, 2016
Returning to duty following his long recovery from the injuries he sustained during the events recounted in Heart Scarab, Shield Captain Bennet accepts a tour of duty in Fleet as flight captain on a dreadnought. The one saving grace is that it isn’t his father’s ship—bad enough that he can’t yet return to the Shield Regiment, at least he doesn’t have the added stress of commanding former lover, Fleet Lieutenant Flynn and knowing the fraternization regulations will keep them apart. Working on the material he collected himself on T18 three years before, Bennet decodes enough Maess data to send him behind the lines to Makepeace, once a human colony but under Maess control for more than a century. The mission goes belly up, costing Albion one of her precious, irreplaceable dreadnoughts and bringing political upheaval, acrimony and the threat of public unrest in its wake. But for Bennet, the real nightmare is discovering what the Maess have in store for humanity. It’s not good. It’s not good at all.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book. I thought it was coming out a couple months ago and was sooo disappointed when I found out I was incorrect! You might remember that I read and reviewed the two previous books in this series, Gyrfalcon and Heart Scarab and I was ecstatic over both.
Well, now we have a new installment in the series. Do I like it as much as the previous ones? No. I like it more. I’m loving this universe that the author has created. It is huge, there are aliens, there are space battles and there is political intrigue. Winding through it all is our hero Bennet, the character we’ve been following since book one.
He has recovered from the injuries he received in Heart Scarab and is now ready to return to active duty. Unfortunately that won’t be with Shield, since he is due to rotate out of the super-secret Shield portion of the military and has to serve time in the regular fleet. In addition to his regular duties he still has duties with the super high level secret unit where he and his friend Felix work to decrypt the secrets of the alien Maess.
Something has come up in the data that Bennet found on the planet T18 in the last book. When they decode a horrifying secret, Bennet will have to travel to the planet Makepeace and find out if the secret they think they’ve decoded is what is really happening on that former human colony world. That journey could change him and the entire human race forever…
I loved this book. I would not recommend reading it as a standalone. These books are the continuing story of Bennet, and the people and events he comes into contact with. This is a mainstream Sci-fi book that just happens to have a gay protagonist. It is not a romance, and I don’t believe there is any sex in this one at all.
The world building is phenomenal…with a wide sweeping story and the book is heavy in detail. I highly recommend the entire series if you are a Sci-Fi/Spec Fic reader. I think there is another installment coming in the fall, and the author wets our appetite with a brief teaser at the end of this one. Please make it come quickly!