★★★★ @michellediener #DarkMatters
Finally, all caught up with this series. Not sure if this is a completed series but it feels like it. I read this book out of order and it can be. Whilst technically possible to read this as a standalone, it is better to read the entire series, in the order written. This is one all about Lucy Harris. One of the "lucky" ladies abducted by aliens and never to return home to earth. Running for her life and not sure who to trust, this is a heart-pumping tale of survival.
Lucy is a political pawn and a live embodiment of a world/race gone wrong. Lucy may just be a human but what she stands for is much greater than she expected. I liked how Ms. Diener explores the motivation of a race divided. If Lucy is found and given to the United Council, then an entire race of people will be shamed. This poses a difficult quandary for the Tecrans who stole her from Earth. Do citizens pick what is morally right or do they want to be patriots of their country and make sure she never sees the light of day? I can understand both perspectives and it isn't an easy answer. Why? Because an entire planet will be punished by those in power who made bad decisions. Should an entire planet be punished and sanctioned? Or should only those who were involved be held responsible? The parallels to our current situation in the world make this story feel more realistic.
I love how Ms. Diener takes concepts from real-life situations and morphs them into her fantasy novels. Perhaps it will help more readers see from different perspectives without their political parties to obfuscate their minds. This one whilst written a few years ago is still applicable to this day. Because it seems as if those in power then are corrupted and do some not-so-great things. Luckily in this fantasy, Lucy finds a couple of champions to help her survive to tell her story.
Bane is a Class 5 AI who is also a big no-no in the world. After watching so many movies about how AI destroys the human race, I can understand the fear. Bane is doing his best to find Lucy and then save her. Since he is in a spaceship, the best he can do is send down an emissary. Whilst this story does have a bit of a romance element, it is definitely back seat to Lucy's run for her life.
The worldbuilding down to the predators and technology has me happily humming. The character development including the back-story of the Tercrans adds another layer to this interesting universe. This sci-fi/fantasy is recommended to space opera readers who like spunky heroines.