When Qaelan Foster, renegade captain Rian Sherron’s cousin, drags in a wounded soldier in Rian’s ship, Qaelan announces that the injured commando, Varean Donnelly, is suspected of being Reidar – an enemy shape-shifter alien. Varean is to be considered dangerous and kept in a makeshift brig until further notice. Doctor Kira Sasaki maintains the soldier should be kept in medbay, as it is obvious he was hurt by the blast from the razar – an energy weapon that exposes Reidars. However, they are not sure if the razar is foolproof, and Varean assures them he is not an alien, although Varean has a secret when it comes to his real identity, and there is an unknown violence that threatens to explode…
Rian hates Reidars with a passion; he was once tortured by the aliens, his mission is to see them eradicated before they rule the universe, Kira is appalled at the way Varean is being treated, she will not renege on her hypocratical oath; besides she senses that Varean is not a bad man, and he intrigues her.
In this third instalment of Jess Anastasi’s brilliant scifi series, Rian and his shipmates continue to try to evade the authorities, and while there is a continuing story arc through the whole series, a new reader can safely dive in Diffraction, even if upon reading this, it sounds rather convoluted, it is not: Ms. Anastasi supplies all the necessary information as needed– and refreshes our memories – without bogging down the narrative with superfluous technical details. I am not a reader of science fiction novels, and I have loved this series from the beginning, and this might well be one of the reasons: I never feel like a techno-imbecile! Diffraction is, as the previous two books, a very dense story, fast paced, and extremely well written, even lyrical at times, although I still have the same small issue as I had with the previous books: the substitution of the ubiquitous “freck”, in all its variations, for another f-word; it still gets on my nerves, for some reason.
Diffraction is very much character-based, as much of the suspense derives from Varean’s identity. This series features extremely interesting characters, and Kira is no different: she is cool under pressure, a dedicated professional with a secret past, but no one messes with her patient, not even the volatile Rian, who is still quite the enigma at times, but, no more about him; I will let long-time readers savour what happens with Rian... The romance between Varean and Kira is a precarious one, as they tiptoe around each other, the ship’s crew is wary, and threats abound. Diffraction has several surprise twists, not every returning character lives to see the end of this story, but the best surprise of all is that Diffraction will not be the last book in the series! A character I particularly like will have his own story! Star Trek fans will enjoy this story, but philosophers as well!
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About the author
Jess Anastasi: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
About the reviewer
Monique Daoust: Facebooks - Twitter - Goodreads
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