DiscoverScience Fiction

The Demon's Fate

By

Loved it! 😍

An action-filled, space adventure with an amnesia-stricken crew and a mysterious alien artifact onboard!

Synopsis

A crew wakes up to find an alien artifact on their spaceship. They don't remember how it got there or what happened to their missing member. Piecing together the mystery leads to a moral dilemma that might tear them apart. Will they risk life and safety for someone they don't remember, or will the trappings of comfort keep them on their course home?

I was immediately drawn to The Demon's Fate because of its beautiful cover and unusual premise: the crew of a small spacecraft awakens not knowing who they are, where they are going, or why. The only information the ship's artificial intelligence (AI) can give them is general; all other information is classified and inaccessible without the ship commander's passcode. Asking the right questions of the AI, the crew determines that they are fleeing the last planet they visited with a beautiful, alien artifact aboard. Oh, and one of their crew members was left behind.


There are five crew members on the small ship, and the author gives each one a distinct and well-defined personality. I could easily see each one in my mind as if I knew them. As the story goes on and the crew begins to remember things, the characters remain faithful to the personalities that they awoke with, although, some have hidden strengths that come forth when needed. I liked each of the characters, including the ship's AI and the synth, Emma.


The action takes place both aboard ship, and later in the book, on the planet, Celestia 6. The ship itself is well described, and I had no trouble seeing the layout of things. It is a small craft, but that just made it feel homey, familiar, and comfortable. The author created a planet with a variety of terrain and populated it with alien peoples and some crazy, wild creatures. The world-building included giving readers a glimpse into the aliens' past and current life as well. And the bad guys are evil, making some decisions that are made later in the story very difficult.


With so much happening action-wise, you wouldn't think that the story would have room for moral dilemmas, but it has several, in fact. The ship's commander must puzzle out problems regarding artificial intelligence and synthetic humans, getting information out of an enemy combatant, and weighing the pros and cons of risky actions.


The Demon's Fate is one of those books that I think would make a great action film and would have been the great start of a series (I would totally get the next one.) There are some unanswered questions at the end of the story. I recommend this book to science fiction readers. There are sexual situations (and the subject of sexual assault is a significant plot point, in case that is a reader's aversion), so this is for a mature audience.

Reviewed by

I love to read and hook up others with books that they might enjoy. I like genre fiction with a weakness for cozies, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and westerns. My professional background is in law enforcement, fire, water, and environmental education. I have basset hounds and ham radio is a hobby.

Synopsis

A crew wakes up to find an alien artifact on their spaceship. They don't remember how it got there or what happened to their missing member. Piecing together the mystery leads to a moral dilemma that might tear them apart. Will they risk life and safety for someone they don't remember, or will the trappings of comfort keep them on their course home?

Focus

            Coldness throbbed through her cheek, the flesh biting, aching, the slow seep furrowing its way into her tender bones.

            What happened?

            Her lethargic eyes opened, and her vision swam. She stirred, her body protesting the rash movement. The bend in her left arm throbbed. Like the unstoppable water rushing over the fall, one thought flitted through her mind like a scythe through wheat.

            Who am I?

            She rolled to her back. An explosion of panic rippled through her, and heat bloomed in her chest. Her eyes stung; did she want to cry? Terror clawed at her throat. A weight settled on her chest like someone’s boot crushing her bosom. Beneath the fear, the panic, the terror that threatened to possess her, a justifiable anger rose within. Hysteria wouldn’t help her now, and the resentment towards the vulnerability she embodied gave her focus.

            Vague impressions crept waywardly through her mind like a stumbling drunk, their impacts sudden but never lingering. She bent her left arm, working out the soreness. After a few moments, her hand went to her face, gingerly touching the numbness. Pins and needles rippled across her skin. All the while, she asked herself what happened.

            In the quiet, her breath roared in her ears, rivaling the echo of brontide thunder. The room around her hinted at the smallness of the building beyond her sight. In her mind, the room constricted, bringing back the tightness of her chest.

            I’ve got to get out of here, but where am I? How would I get out?

            Again the anger flared, that vulnerability resurfacing. Panic wouldn’t help her.

            I am in control, she told herself. Reality differed significantly from her current mantra, but it contributed to keeping her grounded. Still, something undefined, something untouched, prevented her from submitting to anxiety.

            What’s my name?

            A void, a deep darkness suffused her mind, covering her thoughts like a wool blanket.

            I know something is there. I know I had a name. Everyone has a name, but what is mine? Who am I?

            The thought of other people having a name jarred something in her. Maybe she wasn’t alone? Maybe there were others? Did the same thing happen to them? What if they couldn’t remember either? What if they could, and she was the only one that couldn’t? The tightness in her throat returned, and the heat she once felt in her chest came rushing forward.

            Something sufferable is tolerable and better than nothing at all.

            Calmness fought against the onslaught of trepidation. She had to remain in command, control, disciplined; to do otherwise meant … something. It was the beginnings of a thought, a memory, of that she was sure, but it remained aloof, aloft, inaccessible. Still, the quietness slithered, smooth and slick like the scales of a serpent. A chill rushed up her spine, and she shuddered. And then, whatever restraint she had over her dread vanished.

            In an abrupt moment, she bolted for the door, somehow knowing they’d open.

            Freedom and answers lay just beyond, she thought. They have to.


About the author

I'm a prior Marine and hail from Wimberley, Texas, but lived in Japan and Hawaii. I'm a huge Star Wars Expanded Universe fanatic and fan of the original trilogy of Mass Effect games. I enjoy a diverse collection of films and shows: GoT, Attack on Titan, Castle, & Inception. view profile

Published on March 16, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by

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