The mind is the most powerful weapon of all . . .
Imogen Peters knows she’s a pawn. She’s been abducted from Earth, held prisoner, and abducted again. So when she gets a chance at freedom, she takes it with both hands, not realizing that doing so will turn her from pawn to kingmaker.
Captain Camlar Kalor expected to meet an Earth woman on his current mission, he just thought he’d be meeting her on Larga Ways, under the protection of his Battle Center colleague. Instead, he and Imogen are thrown together as prisoners in the hold of a Class 5 battleship. When he works out she’s not the woman who sparked his mission, but another abductee, Cam realizes his investigation just got a lot more complicated, and the nations of the United Council just took a step closer to war.
Imogen’s out of her depth in this crazy mind game playing out all around her, and she begins to understand her actions will have a massive impact on all the players. But she’s good at mind games. She’s been playing them since she was abducted. Guess they should have left her minding her own business back on Earth…
So this is another one where I received an arc (this time from the author directly-this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review) and bought it anyway- because this author gives me great joy and I am pleased to throw the money at her. Not knowing where she lives and thus being unable to properly stalk and throw money in person, Amazon shall have to do.
I am both saddened and joyful to report that this is the completion of the Class 5 trilogy. I mean I adore series that complete, but I kind of want to stay here forever. But considering how much I complain about series that draggle on poorly forever, I’ll gladly take an author who leaves me wanting more over one who leaves me wishing I never started. So to briefly recap, the discovery of Rose and Sazo in Dark Horse alerted the Grih to the duplicity of the Tecran, and then the events of Dark Deeds alerted the United Council to just how far the treachery went bringing to light two more earth women and a greater scope of misdeeds.
So now we finally have the missing Isobel, and the final two enslaved thinking systems are in play in ways that no one could have expected. And I can’t rightly express how fascinating I find the culture Diener has built, or how impressed I am by how varied the characters are, especially the thinking systems. And the way the women have related to their experiences and associated with the Grih have been wildly different too.
Isobel actually spends the least time with Grih society as a whole, and the most time with her partner in a sort of enforced proximity compared to the other heroines, and that changes the dynamics of how she is perceived (by me at least) as a character. She is quite fatalistic, and angry, so angry at times. And Cam was such a suspicious blighter that you really can’t help but like him. Of course as satisfying as I found their relationship (and I did find it more satisfying than Fiona and Hal’s though slightly less so than Rose and Dav’s-if you want to keep score), for me the stars in this one were more the thinking ships. They played a much bigger role than they did in the last book, and I really felt I got to know Paxe and Oris to a significant extent. They are young so their personalities are still forming, but I KNEW them.
I am just gushing here, but I can’t help myself. I want to squee and scream, and laugh and cry, and accost people I don’t even know to MAKE them read this series. And here, I don’t even know where to go with this review, how to explain why it is such magic for me, but it is. Despite sadness and loss and cruelty, this series is pure magic for me, and I can’t recommend it enough.
While the Class 5 series is finished, I truly hope Ms. Diener chooses to keep writing science fiction, because I will continue to snap it up.