Jean Johnson—the national bestselling author of the Sons of Destiny novels—returns to the world she introduced in A Soldier’s Duty with a terrible vision of the future…
Promoted in the field for courage and leadership under fire, Ia is now poised to become an officer in the Space Force Navy—once she undertakes her Academy training. But on a trip back home to Sanctuary, she finds the heavyworld colony being torn apart by religious conflict. Now Ia must prepare her family and followers to secure the galaxy’s survival. Her plan is to command a Blockade Patrol ship. Her goal, to save as many lives as she can. But at the Academy, she discovers an unexpected challenge: the one man who could disrupt those plans. The man whose future she cannot foresee…
This review can also be found on Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell-blog.
I’m rounding up the rating because while it wasn’t as good as the first in the series I really enjoyed reading the book.
As Ia advances through the ranks of the Terran Space Force she continues to walk that very thin line between lie and deceit in the best interest of all humanity. It takes her to the Navy Academy and pilot school… and I lost count on how many things I’m misrepresenting in my review. Military isn’t my forte.
The world of future is still there, only expanded and further explored. The ever changing character gallery introduces new faces and names all the time while rotating a couple of familiar names to focus for a while. There were some I’d missed but didn’t see, and there were some I hadn’t missed but glad to see all the same.
What’s different to the first book is the shifting focus onto Ia’s character growth. Johnson doesn’t switch genres in the middle of a series but she does spend some time on illuminating through the interactions with her family who Ia was before she became hell bent on saving the galaxy, and who she could be if she wasn’t so stubborn to not allow anything for herself.
And that’s where this book’s greatest weakness lies.
Ia does find her Achille’s heel, which was something I’d been waiting to see from the very start. Just as Johnson, Ia doesn’t quite know what to do with it, but she tries. And it would have worked—adequately—hadn’t that revelation discussion been botched. In my opinion Johnson fails to hit that precious balance between avoiding repetition and doing justice to the character—Ia’s blind spot in this case. What I read was rushed and unsatisfactory instead of a poignant scene between two people facing and accepting a personal tragedy. I am glad, though, that the heel wasn’t completely forgotten and I’m hoping that as the series progresses the character gets a chance to pervade Ia’s life just as Bennie has.
I like Bennie and hope to see much of her in the future. August can’t come soon enough.