3 out of 4 stars
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Imagine being a second class orphan boy on the verge of maturity, having a career dream that you’ve worked extremely hard to accomplish. Then one carefree night out partying with your mates results to your entire future becoming at risk. Seemingly harmless choices lead you to being pulled into high profile politics with extremely powerful people. Their agendas are various, but everyone seems to want the best out of you. Only you don’t have a clue why your very ordinary butt has suddenly become such a valuable prey. This kind of setup is not likely to happen to any average second class citizen, wouldn’t you agree?
Likely or not, it is happening to Andreas Marset, an Arpathian legionary of the Iberian Army. The young soldier lives in the new world of Poltervault, where the resurrected human race is facing a war against each other. Sadly enough, it is not the only threat looming in the air. The alien empire of Vulgari are on a mission to enslave the entire human race. Andreas Marset gets tangled up in the middle of these historical events. After sudden incidents he’s being taken to the Iberian empire, mated to the Emperor’s bastard daughter and released from his Military duties. Before Andreas has time to get too comfortable with his new whereabouts, the events take another sudden turn and he is exiled to the wars of the colonial worlds in the Rubicon System. Despite his background, Andreas is a smart young man and quickly tires of being just a pushover. He starts unveiling the secrets of his origins and becomes aware of the telepathic powers of his gifted mind. Soon he discovers that he is holding the keys to save the human nations.
Being a total rookie on space-related matters, I have to admit that reading Masters and Bastards by Christopher J. Penington was slightly challenging. Plentiful names of new galaxies and planets, not to mention all the other space gobbledygook did make my head spin. Keeping up with all the locations of this whole newly discovered universe had me shaking my head in anguish several times. I was suddenly revealed why so many fantasy books actually have a map drawn on their first pages. I was desperately needing one here to navigate through the imaginary world of Poltervault and the Rubicon System amongst other places that appeared slightly outlandish to me.
Another thing that resulted to me shaking my head in disbelief was the figure of speech some characters in Masters and Bastards were using. Terribly lot of dirty talking combined with a wide variety of swear words was somewhat rebarbative. This being said, I still found most of Christopher J. Penington’s characters simply adorable. Their charm combined with insightful, witty dialogues makes this book special. The author clearly is a word artist. His characters come alive in the pages of the book. One more distinctive worth mentioning is the plot, its twists and turns developing at the speed of light. Being full of unexpected surprises, Masters and Bastards will most likely hold you in its grip until the very end.
Masters and Bastards is a combination of science fiction and fantasy, taking place somewhere in the universe after the destruction of our old mother Earth. Every friend of good fantasy or science fiction will find this book worthy. I also dare to say, everyone who enjoyed movies like Star Wars or Starship Troopers would definitely think of this book as a remarkably entertaining one.
Unfortunately, Masters and Bastards had quite a lot of typing errors, which disturbed the reading experience. This indicates the editor was either in a hurry or half asleep while completing the work. Therefore I am forced to give this book only 3 out of 4 stars. Everything else being close to perfection, I find this a real pity. Masters and Bastards is one of those books that captures your full attention so that you’ll end up losing track of time, forgetting to cook dinner for your family or whatever else it was you were actually supposed to be doing. I am taking my imaginary hat off in respect to Christopher J. Penington, who has proven himself to be a brilliant writer and story teller.
Masters and Bastards
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