Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Many centuries have passed since a part of Earth’s population has settled on the planet Albion. It has only been just over a century since the war with the Maess started. While the population of Albion deals with fighting the war, the Maess use drones to do their fighting. In fact, no one has ever seen someone from Maess. The creepiest thing about the drones is that as the war continues, the drones begin to look more and more humanoid.
Against this background, Shield Captain Bennett tries to negotiate his life. As part of the reconnaissance unit of the war effort, his mission is to get in behind enemy lines, find information about the enemy and if possible, destroy outposts to cripple the enemy’s operation. Not bad for an academic whose family has had a long line of military service. But the fact he is not in active duty in the military and the fact that Bennett is gay and in a relationship with a man almost twice his age has caused a rift with his father. Add in that his partner for the last seven years is tired of Bennett going off on dangerous missions and not satisfied with his academic position makes life tense for Bennett.
Called in from his break after his last assignment, Bennett must once again go behind enemy lines. When his own starship gets called to replace a damaged vessel, Bennett is transferred to the dreadnaught Gyrfalcon. Not only is the dreadnaught probably the wrong type of ship for his mission, its commanding officer is none other than his father. His hope is to keep things civil until the end of the mission. Then there is flight Lieutenant Flynn who captures Bennett’s attention. Flynn is not only cocky, but has the flight skills to back it up. A love them and leave them type guy, Flynn sets out to make the Shield captain his next conquest. That is if this mission doesn’t get them both killed first.
The world Anna Butler has created is both simple and complex at the same time. Set several centuries into the future, Albion is made of Earth refugees. The governmental order has ten national governments and one planetary government. There is a pantheon of gods that are worshipped but they are not discussed in detail. What was meant as a simple expression of friendship was taken as an act of war by the drones of the Maess. Then there is the life of Bennett. His home life is screwed up in all different ways. He would like nothing more than do research but knows he needs to contribute to the war effort, even though it’s not the type of help his father expects of him. He has been with his partner Joss for seven years but he begins to have feelings for Flynn that he hasn’t had for Joss in a long time. This is a great start to this series.
Cover art by Wilde City Press is outstanding, brands the series and is a eye-catching cover.
EBook, 317 pages
Edition Language: English
Published: February 18, 2015 by Wilde City Press
Series: Taking Shield