In this exciting beginning best seller, Catherine Asaro takes us to the Skolian world through the eyes of one of its children, Sozcony (Soz) Valdoria, Primary Jaggernaut and Rhon Psion.
First understand what a Jaggernaut is. It is a telepath/empath with technological « gadgets » throughout his body which allows her/him to become one with his ship. Jaggernauts are the cream of the military in the Skolian Imperialate and Soz is at the highest level being also the half-sister of the Imperator (like an emperor).
I got so excited reading this book that this is my second reading of it. I loved the universe right away and its characters fascinated me. I found it easy to get into the book and follow Sozcony’s story and discover, not only the Skolian world, but also the Traders and Allieds Worlds. Each culture is well defined and fascinating. The Traders, or Eubians, are particularly designed to be the perfect arch-nemesis (very important in the book and its following sequels). Aristos (or the Eubian aristocracy) are the anti-empaths. Their minds are designed to perceive pain from others, which is transmitted to them as pleasure. They call it « transcending ». They enslave Psions to make them their Providers (sexual/empath slaves) and the others (non-telepaths) become Taskmakers (also owned by them). They own billions of people. No empath/telepath can stand their presence. Their minds « suck » the minds of empaths/telepaths and they torture for pleasure.
So when Soz meets one of them, an Aristo (they own everybody else), her first reaction is to destroy him until she realizes this one is different. What happens between her and Jaibriol will change the course of history on three civilizations. But I leave you to discover that for yourself (wink!).
I read this book in only a few days, what you would call a pager turner. I immediately jumped on the sequels (9 so far!) and there is a new book coming out now. This is the best sci-fi series I’ve read in years! Highly recommended. By the way, if you like a bit or romance, there’s plenty of soap opera situations (but nothing stupid or mushy).
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