The sped up time frame works in this novella because Jessa and Ryder are already involved before the story starts. They only need a little push before admitting their true feelings for each other and the intense fighting they endure is exactly the catalyst needed to solidify this bond between the soldiers. Jessa and Ryder may be fighting on a distant planet, but there is such raw emotion in the battle that readers will be able to easily put themselves in the characters’ places. The need to survive, issues of loyalty and also extreme grief over fallen fellow soldiers are all integral to this excellent, but short, story’s plot.

Captain Jessa Tok leads her unit of Dawn Soldiers on a remote planet of the galaxy. Fighting the evil Dusk marauders in the Limit War, Jessa’s every thought should be on eliminating the enemy. However, lately she has been very focused on Sergeant Ryder Hiltop and their secret liaison after their last mission. But it is not inattention that has separated Jessa from her unit after an artillery strike. It is just bad luck that lands the captain alone, behind enemy lines.

Ryder may be more a farmer than a warrior at heart, but his allegiance is to Jessa. When she goes missing he braves the enemy to find her and bring her back safely — if safe is even an option when hundreds of Dusk soldiers with advanced weapon technology converge on the pair. (LIQUID SILVER, Nov., dl., $5.50)

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Reviewed by: 
Dawn Crowne