This is a brand new book, number 6 in a series, and it is immediately on sale at the bargain basement price of £2.21. The thing about that is, that while the price may be bargain basement, the story telling is anything but and indeed if you click on the link above to Michael Hicks site you can even get one of the books in the series free. Daft or what, well no, not really. I think Hicks knows exactly what he is doing, he also knows, without shouting it from the rooftops, that he is a skilled story teller, and that once you read one of the books in the series, he has you hooked like a master angler, who seems so effortlessly to catch his large fish and then begins to reel it in to it's eventual doom. But, for the reader of an In Her Name book it is is not the doom of the fish that awaits you it is the surprise of finding a SyFy writer who weaves a seamless story of Love and War, Pathos and Humour and Space battles akin to the great Sea Battles of our History.
In her Name was released in the same way as the Star Wars film genre with the up to date (in terms of the future setting) books of:
and then, like Lucas, he wrote and released three further books telling us how humanity, who had been colonising space for hundreds of years but had never discovered any alien life, stumbled across the one Alien life force that they would die regretting the meeting, and not understanding, WHY!
These books are:
If you have never read a science fiction novel in your life YOU MUST NOT be put of by the genre, Hicks does not sprinkle his books with unintelligible gobbledy gook that would put most of us of, no, his is a thought provoking opus of tenderness one minute followed by unforgiven brutality the next! In Empire a young boy witnesses his parents slaughtered and his planet decimated by the Kreelan Warriors. There is the tenderness and growing love between him and another orphan in the 'workhouse planet' he is assigned to by his human rescuers, and then there is the renewed hatred for the Kreelans as he is captured and his second home is destroyed by the Kreelans!
All three books are fast paced and unlike many books it is sprinkled with characters who all have a story to tell. These stories all add to the spiders web of intrigue that Hicks so skilfully weaves adding political infighting between politicians and soldiers who believe that they are in a winnable war and are jockeying for their own seats of power, to Warriors of The Kreelan Empire whose only desire is to fight and Die with Honour for Her, The Empress.
Dead Soul, brings those of us who have discovered In Her Name, up to date with the Kreelans and how the war was started. It seemed shorter than the previous novels, or was it that I was just reading faster, and at the end the only regret you have is, that it did end! You feel, when reading one of these books, elated, you feel hatred for the Kreelans, then you don't, how can that be, they are killing machines, they do not give up, they do not retreat and they do not regroup when they themselves are being killed in battle, they just keep coming, survive and win, or die, there are no alternatives in Kreelan warfare.
It is this single mindedness, that Hicks I think, uses to bring out the best and the worst in his human characters . The humans have to be as equally ruthless in their own defence, they have to be ingenious in the craft that they bring to survival and Hicks captures all of it and presents it to us in a way that makes us tearful and poignant, angry and aggressive but most of all he makes us not want to stop turning pages to see what happens next.
In recommending this author and his books to you I really am at a loss to tell you where to start whether it is with the first three books published, which are also available in an omnibus or now that he has finished the prequel of three books 'from the beginning', but, whichever way you choose to go, you will be hooked!
Series rating: A definite 5 stars out of 5