4 out of 4 stars
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Ghaled Ransom, known as Rance, is abducted to another planet and becomes a prisoner in a dark and dingy cell. His kidnappers are the Pirancha, who are a race with human-like bodies, fish heads, and octopus-like tentacles emanating from the back of their torsos. His cellmate is Gaetham, who can transform into a deadly five-foot jaguar, with deadly spines protruding from his legs and back. Gaetham explains they are here to entertain the Pirancha and will be expected to fight in the Great Circle. They will be challenged by monstrous beasts and fight for their lives like gladiators. These matches serve to please the Kreigall, the king of the Pirancha, who believes the spilling of blood is a worthy sacrifice to God. Slave of the Kreigall is written by Bob Wayne Hutchinson and is the first instalment in the series. This fictional story describes Rance’s bravery, his rise to being a master warrior, and his plans to escape his imprisoned existence.
After suffering a loss in his life, Rance joined the army. Too proud to end his own life, he hoped the army would do this for him. Being a brilliant soldier, he was chosen to take part in a top-secret experiment where nanotechnology was used to improve his capabilities. His capabilities are tested to the extreme in the Great Circle, and he becomes one of the few who live to see another fight. With the addition of Danya, a human woman used to please and satisfy the Pirancha in any way they please, Rance, and Gaetham, decide they will not spend the rest of their days being warrior slaves. They must form a plan before this toxic place, and its sadistic people break them, which would be a fate worse than death.
The imagery in the book is fantastic. The author has imagined many monstrous and intriguing creatures. The reader is introduced to human-like beings who can transform into powerful and deadly big cats, giant arachnids, and a range of hideous and terrifying beasts. I enjoyed reading about all these fantastical creatures, their skills and weaknesses, and how certain ones join to form formidable teams. I thought the combination of sci-fi and fantasy in the book was captivating and contributed to the creation of a unique story.
The story is full of excitement and tension. There is a lot of danger that the characters have to deal with, and this makes the book a real page-turner. As well as constant action, there is significant character development. Throughout the book, you learn more about the characters and their back-stories, and I enjoyed the bonds that form and become stronger throughout the pages. There are some nasty characters too, which makes the book great fun to read. A story is always more riveting with characters you love to hate.
Nanotechnology is a major theme in the book. It is part of a very interesting back story of the principal character. I thought this was an imaginative addition to the story, and it was captivating reading about how this technology assisted the characters. The anatomical and biological descriptions in the book were superb, both in the nanotechnology storyline and also in the insertion of mind-controlling implants. The author writes in a very believable way, and at times you forget that you are reading a fantasy novel.
I found nothing to dislike about this book, and it immersed me in the exciting story from start to finish. I loved the characters and the imaginative variety of unique races. I found a handful of spelling and grammar mistakes, so I believe another round of professional editing would solve this. The mistakes did not hinder my enjoyment of this book as it engrossed me in the thrilling adventure, so I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It contains some profanities and very mild sexual content. The book is suitable for adults and young adults who enjoy unique fantasy, sci-fi and action, with great characters and nail-biting thrills.
Slave of the Kreigall
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