Monday, December 18, 2017

SFRB Recommends 78: Huntress of the Star Empire by Athena Grayson

Ever since she was found in the aftermath of alien attacks, Treska Sivekka, the Huntress, has been trained to hunt down threats to the security of the Union that gave her an identity, and the Union’s biggest threat–psypath Micah Ariesis–is in her crosshairs. The Huntress’s neuro-collar and repulsor cuffs may keep Micah’s mental talents under wraps, but getting him in handcuffs was the easy part. Every scumbag in the star system wants a piece of the Huntress and her bounty. But when the Union’s biggest threat exposes the lies around Treska’s missing memories, he may be the only one she can trust.

I love when science fiction can ask questions about society. In Huntress, Grayson posits one possibility of what happens when factions use tragedy for their own gain. Horrific alien attack? Let’s use that to our advantage and try to use it to shape society the way we want to. Let’s persecute the purple people and psychics! Let’s clamp down on decadence! Let’s brainwash people to not commit vice! 

The lead and side characters are sympathetic, heroic, and memorable, trying to deal with questions of how to make it in a society that exploits or demonizes them. The adventure is good pulpy fun, and the attraction between Micah and Treska, while present at the beginning, manages to develop organically. 

n.b. So far, we have one “season” of the Huntress. Micah and Treska have more of their story to tell us. This recommendation by Lee Koven.

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