Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A year has passed since Shield Captain Bennet was rescued from Telnos. Having spent the past year doing his research at the Strategy Unit and teaching at the Thebaid Institute, Bennet is anxious to get back out into space. However, he must rotate out of Shield for three years and serve in Fleet. Before that happens, Bennet comes to a realization that the Maess have been using Makepeace, an old Albion colony that was overtaken over a century before. If his analysis of the information he took from T-18 is correct, the Maess are holding humans as prisoners on the former farming colony.
Having passed his theories along to IntCom, Bennet is assigned to the dreadnought Corvais as their Flight Captain. Having served onboard for almost eight months, Bennet formulates some chilling possibilities what is happening on the lost colony of Makepeace. Surmising that the Maess are using the prisoners for scientific experiments, he alerts his superiors of his theories. When confronted with the possibilities of what is going on, the Albion president authorizes Bennet to rescue the prisoners, with the proviso that if the humans are being in any way controlled by the Maess, he is to not only destroy the base but take out the prisoners as well. The ultimate decision would be his alone. The prospect of killing almost 200 “innocents” weighs heavily on Bennet.
Bennet is assigned to the Caliban, a dreadnought whose commander happens to be considered an uncle by Bennet. Warwick has been friends with his father Caeden since they were in the Military Academy together. Known for his exploits, Warwick cannot wait to get behind enemy lines like Bennet has been doing all along with Shield. When Bennet gets on board the Caliban, he finds that Warwick has developed a cult of personality around him to the point the crew almost worships him. They too are excited to get behind enemy lines and attack instead of defending what territory they have left. Bennet, having been behind enemy lines, knows that there is no real glory to being there and wonders if the crew is in for a rude awakening when they get to Makepeace. But Bennet has enough to worry about with the prisoners and the side project that has been given to him. He hopes this far deep into Maess territory there aren’t any problems…
The third book in the Taking Shield series once again has Bennet in the thick of a military campaign while trying to sort out his feelings not only for his family and lovers but also for the new crew of the Caliban. He alone really knows the full extent of the mission that he is to undertake and the strain of it puts a stress on his daily living. Because of this and his usual obliviousness to personal situations, Bennet is both surprised and yet in retrospect not shocked at the actions Warwick undertakes during the battle for Makepeace. The results of the battle have far reaching effects on Bennet not only militarily but personally as well. Seeing that one of his theories about the colony having been proved correct, Bennet feels isolated as to the decisions he has to make and a having taken a step away from humanity. Bennet will have to deal with this when he joins his father on his next assignment on the Gyrfalcon. I am waiting impatiently for the next book in the series.
The cover art by Wilde City Press once again is well done. It has what has been described as a Maess form inside the standard Shield badge that has been on the previous covers.
EBook, 330 pages
Edition Language: English
Published: July 6, 2016 by Wilde City Press