Pyr, Nov. 2007, $15.95
In the far future, genetically altered soldier Commander Cassandra "Sandy" Kresnov has become second-in-command of the Callayan Defense Force. The job would be extremely difficult under any conditions, but is made geometrically impossible since President Neiland has strongly pushed making Tanusha, capital of Callay into the capital city of the Federation.
Earth military and political leaders are outraged by the affront Neiland proposes, especially since they write the orb off as a backwater second rate world stealing their power and influence. They send the Federation Fleet which surrounds the planet and occupies Callay's space stations; irritating the Callayan people who fully support the maintenance workers refusing to repair the outsiders’ vessels. War seems imminent although Sandy hopes not; she also worries that a mole has gained access to her forces, but while she tries to uncover the double agent, she must deal with a GI who looks like her sister’s twin. Special Agent Ari Ruben learns that an assassin is sent by The Alliance to eliminate Sandy by turning on the KILLSWITCH embedded in her brain.
The third Cassandra Kresnov futuristic science fiction thriller (see CROSSOVER and BREAKAWAY) is an exciting outer space tale. The story line is fast-paced as the subplots focus on how far individuals and groups will go to maintain or gain power. Sandy has become the focus point of the two acerbic sides, but to survive she must hide; yet if she goes underground, the chances of the Federation’s military succeeding in an all out assault is increased dramatically as she is one of the CDF’s key leaders. Joel Shepherd’s fans will not be disappointed with this superb Kresnov novel.