Author: Pippa DaCosta
Genre: Space Opera/Scifi
Available: Amazon $2.99 (Kindle) 172 pages
“I didn’t sign up to die a hero.” ~ Caleb.
Chen Hung closes in.
The nine systems hang perilously close to a second fatal Blackout.
The lives of billions of people are at stake.
Does Captain Caleb Shepperd have what it takes to save the nine systems, or just himself?
Caleb never wanted to be a hero. That was his brother’s dream. Keep it simple, get away clean. Flying a ship packed with explosives into Janus orbit station isn’t simple, and there ain’t no way he’s getting away clean.
He knows the Fenrir Nine have sent him on a suicide mission, but he’s not about to lay down his life for them. He’s not a hero, and he sure ain’t no fool despite what the Nine must think. There’s another way, he just has to figure it out before the bomb he’s carrying ticks down to zero.
One survived; against the odds, the brutality, and the betrayal, she survived, but inside, in the part of her that’s real, she’s broken. Broken in ways that cannot be fixed.
She’s going back to where it all began, to Janus—to Chitec, to the ‘man’ who made her. It will take all that she is, all that she was, and all that she could be, to save the nine systems from the synthetics.
She will not fail.
“I am One, and I cannot be stopped.”
What I liked:
Grab some tissues and hold on tight! This final installment packs some serious emotional punch (one reason I generally go for SFR over straight SF, but here you get it without the romance), as well as a real adrenaline-laced ride through violence, more betrayal, sacrifice, and emotional awakenings. Basically all hell breaks loose. I finally forgave Caleb for being such a jerk as this a-hole of a reluctant hero has finally turned himself around from someone I hoped would die long before the end of the series to one I could cheer and feel for. Clean, crisp and gritty writing, with a couple of good twists towards the end, plus a satisfactory conclusion that wraps up the four books but leaves intriguing openings for more. Frankly I would love more of One's adventures, but could let Caleb fly off into the sunset because I can only see him reverting after all the character growth in the four books (and I don't want to see that).
What I didn't like:
*spoiler alert! Don't read this section if you don't want the ending given away*
Well. It's a minor niggle, but the ending didn't sit entirely right with me. I think it's more because I'm perfectly willing to kill all my characters at the end of a non-romance, so maybe I expect other authors to do it (and there's really no reason why they should!). And the vague hints of romance/light romantic elements throughout weren't exactly resolved either - there's still an opening there for potential future books. Maybe I'm just too set into the SciFi romance groove to accept a non-romance ending when I felt the story was heading that way. That said, it wasn't enough to even justify taking off a half star, and didn't spoil my overall enjoyment.
I feel like One ripped out my heart and squished it, before giving me a hug! This was a seriously good conclusion to the series, and a real tear-jerker, as well as providing some dark, acidic humor and high-adrenaline action. Those hoping for a romantic ending might be disappointed, but for fans of scifi action adventure who aren't offended by the sex and foul language, this is perfection. Recommended for those who like Firefly/Farscape.
Full disclosure: I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.