Publication Date: August 21, 2016
Trapped on Talonque by Veronica Scott is the fifth book in the Sectors series. Bithia had been placed in a sleep-like stasis by her people thousands of years before and now sleeps as the captive of a primitive and war-like people that view her as a deity. When they capture Space Marine Nate Reilly and his men, they’re brought before Bithia and she wakes temporarily and forms a psychic link with him. Bithia will guide Nate and his men but the path is treacherous. He alone can save her but will he succeed?
The author, Veronica Scott, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
Scott’s science fiction world is original but familiar. She is a master of adapting history and mythology to a new stage. Her primitive people are in no way naive, but they view the world in the way of people to whom much is a mystery. They are as of yet, unaware of the world that readers of Scott have seen in the Sectors series. There is a ritual to everything. Bithia is kept in an underground chamber where she is guarded by a priestess of sorts who is the only one that can access her chamber. It becomes clear to the more traveled men that the equipment their “hosts” see as mystical is in actuality an advanced technology.Trapped On Talonque is a long game novel. The story takes place over a long period of time leaving the men vulnerable, during which time they’re forced to take part in games where losers are brutally punished. The devious nature of the challenges that Nate and his men face were probably my favorite thing about the novel. It’s Mad Max meets Gladiator with the polished edge of an author very comfortable with her world.
Scott’s characters are strong. Her men are strong without being hard-edged and they are wholly unique. There are some that are playful and some romantic. Nate is serious in that he takes what he perceives to be his obligations as a bond. Though he’s practical, he is also wholly open to the accepting idea of things beyond what he knows to be hallmarks of his world. Bithia is convincing as a woman who has been trapped longer than anyone can comprehend and who is deeply desirous of extricating herself from the situation. She is not hopelessly trapped during the entire story (and I don’t consider that a spoiler) and is able to express herself outside of the psychic connection with another character. Both are a delight and fun to get to know. The story could have easily been subdivided into installments but why do that? Trapped On Talonque is perfect just as it stands.
Ultimately, Trapped On Talonque stands as a singular entry in the Sectors series and is a wonderful read. In the totality of the setup, it stands perfectly on its own. Scott builds the worlds in each novel from scratch without a plodding and laborious setup. If you’re looking for a wonderful #fridayread, Trapped On Talonque is the perfect novel to read as you relax on the weekend. Set aside a bottle of choice and a few hours and sink into it if you can. You will love the experience.
Read an excerpt and pick up Trapped On Talonque: (A Sectors SF romance) by Veronica Scott on
For more reviews on books taking place in the Sector world, check out Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Escape from Zulaire, Star Cruise: Outbreak, Star Cruise: Marooned, Mission to Mahjundar and Lady of the Wind.