After the disappointment of ‘The Neighbour’, Gardner returns to form with this tale of murders, a ward full of disturbed children and three women with a connection.
Danielle is a nurse who cares for mentally ill children. She has a dark past and is tormented by the memories. Victoria is the mother of a deeply disturbed son. She’s devoted herself to caring for him destroying her marriage and alienating her daughter in the process. She’s convinced herself she is doing what is best, but her son’s behaviour is getting worse and far more threatening.
Then there is D.D. Warren an annoying cop who likes insulting people, eating and thinking about sex. She is ineffectually investigating a case that connects all three women who before this were strangers. This is good, an engrossing read even if the ending is a bit odd.
The Embrace of Cold Architects
Picard is killed during the events of ‘Best of Both Worlds 1’. Data successfully builds a daughter named Lal. Riker becomes a dithering captain. Starfleet requisitions Lal and Data gets annoyed. This story makes no sense and ends abruptly. It has no proper ending and just stops. It’s bad.
The Tears of Eridanus
This universe is very different. Andor dominates the Interstellar Union. Commander Sulu of the Kumari is sent to a savage warlike planet to rescue an Observation team. Meanwhile on the planet, Demora Sulu struggles to survive on a world that has many names, one of them is Vulcan. She meets S’oval who wants to save his world with a forgotten philosophy, but not the one you’re thinking of. This was dull. Still Sybok appears, a rare trek lit appearance indeed.
Honor in the Night
Imagine ‘The Trouble With Tribbles’ with no tribbles. How things would have been different. An accident a space station K-7 kills the poor tribbles before they are taken on board. The poisoned grain is not discovered and is shipped to the doomed colony of Sherman’s Planet. Decades later, an annoying reporter investigates the fall of the planet and the career of UFP President Baris. It’s a tale of how UFP/Klingon relations were very different and the legacy of a deep cover agent named Arne Darvin is at last revealed. This is okay.
“They received justice from my forward torpedo tube.”
This is the first decent ‘Pax Britannia’ novel since the series opener ‘Unnatural History’. The action moves from steampunk London to New York.
It is a city of heroes, monsters, geniuses and madmen. City residents include: Doc Thunder is the beloved American hero who along with his sidekicks Maya and Monk keeps the world safe. The Blood Spider is a murderous vigilante who wipes out the undesirables and El Sombra is the new man in town.
El Sombra is an unbalanced swordsman who has come to New York for revenge. His arrival reveals long hidden secrets. Doc Thunder has a past he doesn’t want to reveal. The Blood Spider is teetering on the edge of madness and a supervillian long thought dead is biding his time.
This is a very good superhero deconstruction. It is a pulpy mash up of tropes from ‘She’, ‘Superman’, ‘The Shadow’ and ‘The Green Hornet’ among others. It tells a fast paced story packed with dark plots and fascinating characters.
If there is another book in the ‘Pax Britannia’ series focusing on Doc Thunder and co, I’m there.
“The rumour ran that he’d been raised from birth by an outlaw vigilante who lived in a graveyard.”
“Heaven help you, you wanted to be one of us.”
“Us use violence to effect social change.”
“Cast and consecrated during the Age of Woe, before light had entered the world.”
“Easton West, everybody’s favourite tough cop? The man rides a bike and smokes, sometimes both at once. I’m shaking.”
“If only Zarnos had not ordered the stranger banished to the darkest depths of the Vault Of the Serpent God, the sinister labyrinth from whence none had ever returned.”
The first in the series ‘Unclean Spirits’ was good, the second ‘Darker Angels’ was bad but luckily ‘Vicious Grace’ is very good. It sends the series in a new, far darker direction.
Jayne and her gang of evil fighters learn that there is something evil going on at a hospital and decide to stop it. But things don’t work out that easily. Jayne and her gang are about to learn things about her uncle, their evil fighting crusade and Jayne herself that aren’t pleasant. This is a wonderfully dark read as all of Jayne’s truths are destroyed bit by bit.
“Nomen mihi Legio est, quia multi Sumus.”