Mary Brock

SCI-FI:  In Jacquel des Trurains’ home planet of Hathe, freedom reigns, but all Jacquel sees is war. Jacquel isn't willing, though, to give up this freedom. He agrees to handpick a select few to maintain it, which includes the outsider and moonie Rheia asn Postrova.. Jacquel doesn’t quite trust Rheia or know what her motives are; still, she is part of his group, and someone higher up trusts her. Rheia unfortunately holds a secret that could bring down everything Jacquel has done in the name of peace, and his feelings for her could destroy Hathe. Can Jacquel save Hathe without love getting in the way?

“Aftermath” is imaginatively written, set on a war-torn planet that is pretty easily imagined. The corrupted Senate and the animosity between two warring cultures are easily felt. Rheia starts off as a strong and mysterious heroine, but as her secrets are revealed, her feelings toward everyone, including Jacquel, become less than stellar. Rheia doesn’t treat Jacquel nicely and even appears not even to like him. However, when she is apart from Jacquel, her attraction is strong, which really doesn’t make any sense. Jacquel, the stoic unemotional hero, appears to not like Rheia either. Deep down, however, he shows his affection in the way he cares for and protects her.  The story drags a bit when Jacquel attempts many times to get Rheia to like him, and she brutally rebuffs him, making the reader want the book to end without Rheia and Jacquel being together. The story does have great action, suspense and tension, which will please most readers.

Roslynn Ernst