Commander Jared Mertz, the bastard son of the emperor, and his half-sister, Princess Kelsey, barely speak to one another. To their dismay, their father seizes an opportunity to change that and sends them on a dangerous quest to explore the fallen Empire.
Separated from home by an impassable gulf and struggling to redefine their relationship, they find themselves thrust into a vicious war. Unless they work together to stop the Empire’s deadly legacy, billions face a horrific fate.
I read a near-finished version of Empire of Bones voluntarily to help the author see if everything was ship-shape (known as a beta read, kind of like a beta for a game or early screening for a movie). I am not the author’s neighbor, brother, father, uncle, father’s uncle’s brother, or a paid for reviewer from Indonesia.
Why I say this is Amazon *will not* flag me as a ‘verified purchaser’ of Empire of Bones, but I assure you I read this and did so with a *critical eye* — hell, that was my job as a beta reader!
Empire of Bones was the first space opera type story I had read in a while and it got me excited about the genre again. There is nothing quite like the mysteries of open space and the dangers of what’s around the ‘corner’ at the next, unexplored, jump point.
Exploration, mystery, derelict craft, and some nasty bad-guys make for a tight book, but more importantly, the characters make it sing. I found myself taken in by the plight of Jared Mertz — being the bastard son of an emperor ain’t easy — and his half-sister Princess Kelsey as they get involved in old mysteries (what happened to the old empire, where the hell are we, why is that ship trying to blow us up) and take what could be a one way trip to a forgotten part of space.
The pace is right on — meet new people, spend some time with them, and then off they go to see new places. Gets hot’n’heavy by the midpoint and then wraps up with a bang. No wasted passages of meaningless drivel here. Every word advances the people or the plot, and when the space-dookie hits the warp-fan, you will feel like you know the characters. And there is little better than watching characters you like kick some rear when the time for rear-kicking comes!
In the end, if space exploration, the search for an ancient and collapsed empire of man, solid characters, and some good ‘splody action bits is your thing, you will do well to give this a read.