Friday, August 29, 2014

Bones of Empire review

This week I decided to review Bones of Empire by William Dietz  The main character of the story is Jak Cato, a genetically engineered empath created by the Uman Empire, which is inspired by the Roman Empire based on its titles and what we see of its sports--though I have no clue why the H in Human was removed-- able to detect disguised shapeshifters by sensing their minds. The book begins with Cato helping to fend off an assassination attempt against his patron on the imperial capital world of Corin. Soon afterwards, Cato attends an Emperor’s Day parade, but when he sees the Emperor, he’s shocked to realize that the supposed Emperor is actually a Sagathi, a species of alien shapeshifters, named Verafti whom Cato thought he had killed. Soon the race to prove that the Emperor is an imposter while evading Verafti’s attempts to kill Cato is on. Eventually Verafti flees and Cato, who knows that Verafti would have hated  every minute he spent as Emperor, and his allies are left trying to discover the Sagathi’s goals. Eventually it is revealed that he had been searching imperial records for signs of other Sagathi that had escaped their quarantined homeworld. More specifically, Verafti is searching for a female named Demeni whom he had fallen in love with. The trail leads to Therat, a small world recently handed over to the neighboring Vord Empire. After convincing the Vord of the danger even one Sagathi on the loose can pose, Cato receives permission to lead a team to the world to hut the Sagathi down but once there he finds himself caught in the struggle between the Vord Government and an Uman resistance movement while being targeted by cultists who believe that Demeni is a goddess.
I give the book an 7 out of 10. It was a very interesting story over all, though it was more of a science fiction detective story whereas I was expecting a military scifi story. Still, what you saw of the Uman and Vord cultures was interesting, though you learn very little about Sagathi society. The ending was mostly happy but somewhat bittersweet. Still, while I didn’t really dislike the book and will read any sequels, they won’t be the top priority of my to read list unless it’s a dry period for books I like. It wasn’t bad but it just didn’t excite me enough to make buying any follow-ups a higher priority than books in several other ongoing novel series.

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