Friday, October 16, 2015

James Review -- The Dred Chronicles: Breakout

This week I decided to review The Dred Chronicles: Breakout by Ann Aguire. 

The story opens in he aftermath of Havoc. The population of the prison ship Perdition has been basically reduced to two factions: Dred and her allies and the followers of Silence. Dred’s forces have been badly weakened but have forged an alliance with the handful of survivors from the mercenary force sent to exterminate the prisoners. Dred’s band plans to use the docking access codes provided by the mercenaries, and parts found on the station, to create an escape craft. However, supply problems arise swiftly, made all the worse by the existence of RC-17, a robot containing the locations of supply caches established by the deceased Ike. These caches are vital to the escape plan, but matters soon become worse when it is revealed that one of the group’s members believed that RC-17 was a spy and attacked, disabling the robot’s battery. 

This leads to a hunt for a replacement battery launched by Dred and her lover Jael. After managing to ambush some of Silence's followers, they manage to rescue Hex, an alien prisoner whom neither is familiar with. Then the band splits into five teams to scout the caches, but one team sets off a trap left behind after Silence’s forces raided the supplies, and Jael sets out for vengeance, raiding Silence’s base, unaware that Silence has overheard Dred and him discussing their escape plan. 

Eventually, Hex reveals himself as a shape-shifter taking Jael’s place and handing him over to Silence and leaving Dred to face off against Hex. A recon mission and a rescue raid follow, and eventually the band finds some vid logs concerning Rebestah Saren, a young woman once assigned to investigate some of the higher ups of the corporation that was running Perdition at the time. The last logs reveal a horrifying truth. Soon after, the survivors of the group manage to escape Perdition but there are enemies both old and new awaiting them...

I give this book 7 out of 10. I liked that the story actually shows the events that occur after the escape in detail, rather than ending with the escape or just giving us the escape followed by the epilogue. And, admittedly, I was surprised that the ending is mostly happy, if bittersweet at times. But I feel that the combat scenes were lacking in detail and length, there are parts of the story where I believe that even the mentally stable members of the cast are committing insane actions, and I feel that the revelation concerning Silence was too predictable.

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