A sci-fi gladiatorial tale that deftly manages a remarkable amount of world-building and character-building along with a fair amount of mystery within the narrow lens of a single imprisoned ex-warrior awaiting his inevitable moment in the arena to battle for his freedom.
Society has developed to the point of billions of technologically interconnected planets with all of their native “peoples” and cultures linked into a mass economy. Despite the colorful space-opera background, the humanity and regrets of the lone protagonist pierces through white noise. Bran is a man with a past, as seen in the sycophantic rambling of his latest prison roommate. Everyone wants him to choose an arena-exit from this prison, in which two beings enter and two beings leave–one dead, the other free.
This tale is highly recommended and makes for a tantalizing tease to a forth-coming novel in this universe.
I received this short story directly from the author for review purposes. I’ve previously reviewed books from three other series by this author:
The Alpha Plague–5 stars
The Alpha Plague 2–4 stars
The Alpha Plague 3–5 stars
The Alpha Plague 4–4 stars
Crash (Crash, #1)–4 stars
New Reality: Truth (New Reality, #1)–3 stars
New Reality 2: Justice (New Reality, #2)–4 stars
New Reality 3: Fear (New Reality, #3)–3 stars
[Check out my other reviews here.]