The First Sister

Skybound. (First Sister, Bk. 1). Aug. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781982126995. $26. SF.
First Sister is a priestess of the Sisterhood, providing spiritual and physical solace to the Earth and Martian soldiers she travels with. With no name and no voice, she can only hope for freedom through a partnership. Yet her former captain leaves her behind, and she is forced to find a place back on her ship, with no support and no real knowledge of the new captain, Saito Ren, except what the Sisterhood provides her—at a cost. Lito val Lucius battled from the slums of Venus to a coveted soldier position of Rapier—one of a implant-bonded duo of special soldiers. However, Lito is a defeated soldier, bested by Saito Ren, and his Dagger, Hiro, has disappeared. Lito is given a chance to redeem himself: Hiro has turned traitor, and their discovery and death is warranted. Yet the search for Hiro reveals truths about what those in power are actually doing, and with whom that power really lies.
VERDICT This debut showcases themes of colonization, technology, genetic manipulation, and corruption that leaves its mark. A layered, action-filled plot and diverse characters create a powerful entry in the space opera genre. [See Prepub Alert, 2/12/20.]
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