Shades of Dark
Bantam, Jul 2008, $6.99
Owner of the freighter Borun Karn, Gabriel Sullivan is a rare, perhaps unique human who has the telepathic telekinetic powers of kyi-ragiril normally seen in the Stolorth species. He has hid his skills from his family and his crew although some on board know what he can do including the blind Stolorth Ren and Sully’s beloved former Fleet Commander Captain Chasidah Bergren, former wife of Admiral Philip Guthrie. The sector is currently dangerous as several factions vie for the throne currently owned by the insane incompetent Emperor Prewitt.
Sully hopes to defuse one of these contenders, Darius Tage who along with Sully’s cousin Hayden Burke is creating jukor monsters built from the Takus race. They use these monsters to kill people and blame the Fleet; Sully wants to end this terrorism so they travel towards Narfiel where they are to meet Del who has information on the last jukor lab. However, they learn that Chas’ brother Thad who knows about Sully’s skill has been charged with conspiracy against the empire. They fear he will inform the galaxy that Sully is a mind fucker, which will lead to his crew hating him and everyone wanting him dead. Their adventures have just twisted as everyone wants them at a time when the galactic empire teeters while her ex Imperial Fleet Admiral Philip Guthrie joins them as outlaws and Del turns out to be a royal seductive Kyi-Ragkiril mentor.
This is a strong science fiction thriller in which the various species on board, in space, and planet-side seem genuine. Also critical is the mental power of the kyi-regkiral come across as real, but perhaps too powerful. The romantic subplot between Sully and Chas provides a strong key element to the overall thriller in space theme. Readers will appreciate this visit to the wonderful Sinclair galaxy.