Synopsis: Nobody’s safe when the most ruthless cop in the galaxy turns renegade. Meet Pol Tyrees. A member of the elite Cadre. He was the best of the best, and he was the law. Groomed since childhood for the job, Pol was merciless and cold efficient in stalking his prey – human vermin, criminals and traitors. Then, a mystical Seer on the distant planet Tercet shattered Pol’s faith in the galactic Regnum, and gave him warrior skills he never dreamed possible. Now he’s no longer hunting down criminals in the dark corners of the galaxy. He’s after bigger game – the corrupt government he once served blindly; that sacrificed his grandfather to its whims; the government that created him. No one is safe. For Pol Tyrees is still the best. (from the back of the book)
Review: This is the second in O’Riordan’s Cadre series and follows Pol Tyrees after his dramatic split from the Cadre. As I have remarked before regarding older science-fiction, there is less action and more sitting around, thinking. The characters spend much time discussing how best to accomplish their goals. The main idea centers on the necessity to kill innocents to accomplish these goals, and the mental and emotional fall-out from those actions. Tyrees, in particular, struggles with the idea that he must take life to bring freedom to the galaxy.
This isn’t to say there is no action in the story. There is plenty. Space battles and battles of wits, battles of desire and duty. In particular, the battle that leads to the acquisition of the lone female character. Often older sci-fi have caricatures of women; whore, damsel in distress, warrior etc. But O’Riordan manages, roughly, to have a female character of some complexity and depth.
The ending seemed unique to me. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen. Our intrepid heroes found themselves in very dire straits, victory impossible, and defeat already at hand. I liked it. It had the potential to be trite and weak, but O’Riordan made it fitting and interesting. Be aware, the novel ends of cliff-hanger, of sorts. Probably best to have the final book sitting next to you.
Overall, this is a fine continuation of the series, and worth reading.
Bookmarks: 7 of 10
Year Published: 1987
Date Finished: 12-22-2016