From the national bestselling author of When Duty Calls, the first book in an exciting new science fiction duology. In a far-distant future, the Uman Empire has spread to the stars and beyond, conquering and colonizing worlds, ruling with a benevolent�but iron�fist. The Pax Umana reigns, and all is well. But on one planet, the remnants of a violent, shape-shifting race called the Sagathis are confined, kept captive by xeno-cops, who have been bio-engineered to be able to see through their guises. Still, sometimes one manages to escape. Zak Cato is a xeno-cop. He�s returning a fugitive Sagathi when things go horribly wrong. Cato� the only survivor after the rest of his men are slaughtered�must now figure out who betrayed them and bring the alien in, whatever the cost.
Prolific military SF author Dietz starts a duology with a testosterone-soaked tale of violent retribution. Jak Cato is a member of the Xeno Corps, a cadre of soldiers bio-engineered by the Uman Empire to deal with the shape-shifting Sagathi. A skirmish with the alien Vord forces Jak's ship down on Dantha, an impoverished former prison planet, and Jak gets drunk in a tavern and awakens to learn his entire unit has been massacred. Guilt-ridden and angry, the stubborn Xeno cop hunts the culprits with little concern for collateral damage. Dietz is enthusiastic but clumsy, scattering exclamation points like discarded bullet casings and relying on melodramatic villains. The setting is an unconvincing and unimaginative Rome-in-Space culture featuring a frankly disturbing repeated motif of the loving slave, and the story is too predictable for readers tired of space opera cliches. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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October 04, 2009
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