Genre: Science Fiction – Military
Series: Central Corps #2
Publisher: Harper Voyager (November 8, 2016)
Length: 528 pages
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Remnants of Trust, the second installment in Elizabeth Bonesteel’s Central Corps series, is a military science fiction story not to be overlooked by fans of the genre. Certainly, readers who enjoyed book one, The Cold Between, will find more to love here (able to be better appreciate the evolution of the returning characters), but anyone can pick this novel up and be fully engaged in a rousing and complex scifi story without any prior experience with this universe.
Right out of the gate, the trouble begins brewing; Captain Grey Foster and Commander Elena Shaw finding that the quiet sector of space they were assigned to patrol (as punishment for previous activities) isn’t quite so quiet, as another Central ship is attacked by pirates. Unlooked-for, a PSI ship called the Orunmila comes to the rescue, helping to stop the Exeter from being completely destroyed. Immediately, though, the victory begins to loose its luster: political machinations and hidden traitors seeming to multiply by the second, casting a pale of tension and fear over everything.
Built upon multiple points of view, Remnants is a story about characters. Lots of them, in fact. The narrative constantly shifting focus between all the diverse cast of people portrayed here. At times, these people are focused on individual feelings, concerns, or relationships; other times they are focused on the swirling events slowly mounting around them. Elizabeth Bonesteel slowly piercing together the overall plot from these personal scenes, tying all of them together with an interlocking story of two ships and crews caught in a difficult situation, surrounded by hidden dangers.
Other than the realistic tone of this military scifi (which is wonderfully done), the most praiseworthy aspect of Remnants is its complete diversity. Different races, sexes, sexual orientations and more integrated together, creating an ultra modern and enlightened society, which many readers will appreciate tremendously. All this accomplished in such an organic, seamless manner that,at no time, does it feel forced or stilted.
My main issue with this book was the romance/relationship aspects of the narrative. Not having read book one, much of the background circumstances which led our cast to their individual places in life was lost to me, but what I did fully grasp made me want to say “Enough already!” with the feelings. I mean, in dangerous situations, I just found it hard to swallow that emotional, romantic thoughts would be at the forefront of a person’s mind, but, perhaps, I am merely being a cynical, middle aged white guy.
Regardless of my dislike of certain plot lines, I would recommend Remnants of Trust to all military science fiction fans. This novel has several dynamic action sequences, hits the target with the military tone, fills you up with nefarious suspense and mystery, and has a diverse cast of characters. Sure, love is in the air (or, at least, pangs of it), but it is an engaging story nonetheless.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.