Grubane (Lost Tales Of Solace Book 2) by Karl Drinkwater
ABOUT THE BOOK
Major Grubane is commander of the Aurikaa, the most feared cruiser in the UFS arsenal.
His crew is handpicked and fiercely loyal. Together, they have never failed a mission, and their reputation precedes them.
But this time he’s been sent to a key planet that is caught up in political tensions at the centre of the freedom debate. What he thought was a simple diplomatic mission turns out to be the hardest choice of his career. His orders: eliminate one million inhabitants of the planet, and ensure their compliance.
Grubane has also rediscovered an ancient game called chess, and plays it against the ship AI as a form of mental training. But maybe it could be more than that as he finds himself asking questions. Can orders be reinterpreted? How many moves ahead is it possible for one man to plan? And how many players are involved in this game?
When a commander is faced with his convictions as a soldier and his morals as a human being, he avoids the easy option and makes a move like a well-seasoned chess player.
Major Grubane is the cool-under-pressure, well-respected commander of the UFS Aurikaa. His latest United Front Systems mission to the independent planet of Nuafri is not ideal and goes against his better judgment. In addition, there is a spy on his ship that could destroy everything he cares about. Will he be manipulated into carrying out a deadly mission, or will he use his notable skills to outmaneuver his opponents?
The story is narrated by Aurikaa12, Major Grubane’s trusted AI. Aurikaa12’s technical and non-human perspective filled with dry wit and philosophical musings is what draws me into this story.
Once again, Mr. Drinkwater impresses me with his fascinating and intricate AI/human interactions contained within a novella. In addition, he does a remarkable job intertwining chess plays with Major Grubane’s military strategies. I can’t wait to read more in this series! If you enjoy military science fiction with captivating characters and a shrewd and riveting plotline, give this book a try.
Although this is Book 2 of the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. However, I suggest you read Helene which was my delightful introduction to Mr. Drinkwater’s writing.
Thank you to Mr. Drinkwater for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.
He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books, you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.
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