by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Breakout, along with a link to purchase the book.
In Ann Aguirre’s Breakout, Perdition is a space station used as a penitentiary for life-sentenced offenders. They were dumped there and sent supply ships. Free to develop their own societies, they developed gangs that ranged from cannibals to tongue less ninjas.
Dresdemona, an empath with vigilante tendencies, worked her way up to become Dred, the Dred Queen of one faction (Book 1: Perdition), until the Powers That Be decided to send mercenaries to clear out the riff-raff and repurpose the station. After a bloody guerilla war that sent most of the prisoners and troops into the grinders that fed the food replicators (Book 2: Havoc), the survivors are a few of Dred’s crew (including her artificially-made lover, Jael), a remnant of Commander Vost’s mercenary squad, major-league rodents, and the minions of Silence.
When it becomes apparent that the station owners would be happier if Perdition ceased to exist, Dred, Jael & Company scramble to assemble an escape craft to get them out of there before everything implodes, explodes, and flames out. Of course, there has to be conflict, and Silence is out to kill everyone. The question of why she is on the prison space station and why she pursues her campaign of mutilation is finally answered.
Vost is a question mark to the survivors, who don’t know if he can be trusted. Will he help them or turn them in? Jael’s past is explored, and there are some cheerfully-steamy scenes where Dred and Jael explore each other.
Ann Aguirre is known for her action-science fiction writing (the Sirantha Jax and the Corine Solomon series) and the steampunk-mystery-fantasy work she does with her husband (they write as A. A. Aguirre). Breakout veers from its pattern of life-and-death action to boardroom action that is closer to John Grisham in Space. Some readers say that’s no way to end a trilogy. I see it as building a platform for spring boarding new stories and series characters.
Aguirre can write explosive action, pose mysteries with sci-fi solutions, and fill the page with quirky characters that belong in their environment.
To enter to win a copy of Breakout, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Breakout,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 3, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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Spend some time lost in the stars with Dresdemona and her friends. They’ll take you where you never imagined you would go.