Berkley, Nov 2 2010, $15.00
The Chekydran capture Captain Alexandria “Ari” Idylle and torture her. Amazingly they not only fail to kill her, but they release her. She returns home, but not to a hero’s welcome; as everyone she knows and some in the shadows she does not know assume the enemy tinkered with her brain. Even her loved ones believe the Chekydran played with her mind and therefore feel unsafe near her. She realizes her military career is dead as her superiors assume she has been brainwashed and thus a security risk.
She is forced to remain on her father’s science ship as a sort of escape from the distrustful looks. However pirates led by Captain Cullin Seaghdh take over the vessel. However, she suspects there is more to the pirate than simple looting especially as they flee a Chekydran assault ship. In fact, he stalks her like others including her former military superiors who implanted a bomb in her head that can be detonated from a distance. Though attracted to him, she knows not trust no one.
This is a terrific romantic science fiction thriller that brings to life hostilities between two races fighting to dominate the galaxy with each side using nefarious tricks and willing to sacrifice loyal citizens to gain a check in the Outer Space game of chess that seems about to turn uglier. Although the climax contains repugnant sexual abuse that readers will insist is worse than to chewing on a Nurellan lemon berry, sub-genre fans will enjoy this strong space saga, which reminds the audience of the dirty tricks of the Cold War.