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Genre: Science Fiction, General Science Fiction
Andromeda McKee is one hell of a heroine. Dietz is a rarity among male science fiction authors: He can write a steely, badass female protagonist without making her seem unreasonably stoic. He allows McKee a bit (but just a bit!) of softness and vulnerability, making this debutante-turned-army sergeant into a completely engaging three-dimensional character. Fans of military sci-fi will especially appreciate McKee’s head for strategy and the cleverness she shows in dealing with nemeses (like ruthless empress Ophelia and vindictive superior Heacox) and allies (like ne’er-do-well buddy Larkin) alike. If you don’t root for “the Steel Bitch,” I just don’t know what to do with you.
It’s only been a year since debutante Cat Carletto’s family was assassinated and she was forced to go on the run, joining the Legion military force under the name Andromeda McKee. But staying off the royal radar is proving to be no small task; her accomplishments in the Legion have earned her plenty of attention, putting her in the path of several enemies, including the merciless queen, Ophelia, who ordered the murder of McKee’s entire family. With precious few allies, including lover Captain John Avery and perpetual troublemaker Corporal Larkin, McKee struggles with her commitment to her squad and her desire to see Ophelia — and the Empire — taken down. (ACE, Dec., 368 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed By: Regina Small
Published: December 2013