“A Choice of Treasons” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by J. L. Doty (http://www.jldoty.com). Mr. Doty is the author of 10 novels and this is the second of his “Treasons Cycle” series.
I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The setting of this Science Fiction Thriller novel is in a far future. Humanity has spread through the stars and we have come into contact with a few other races.
The Empire and the Directorate have been at war for years. The main character in this story is Lieutenant York Ballin. He is a ‘lifer’, one of those rare in the Imperial Navy that seems to find themselves constantly at the front. Ballin has been on the front lines for more than 20 years.
Ballin has had an odd career, starting out as a teenager who joined the Navy instead of doing prison time. After some service as a non-com, he is sent to military college and is now an officer. Being aboard ship on the front lines for more than 20 years Ballin has experience in most facets of the Navy.
When the officer commanding the Marines on board his ship is killed, Ballin is placed in charge of the Marines. Over time he builds respect with the Marines. The Directorate attacks and Ballin with his Marines must rescue the empress, with her retinue and daughter, as well as the embassy staff from a planet before it falls into Directorate hands.
This begins a wild chase with the Directorate forces close behind Ballin’s ship. When no other competent officers prove to be available, the empress puts Ballin in command of the ship. Now he must find a way to get his high value passengers back to the Empire. Things are not all as they appear within the Empire. Soon Ballin and his crew finds that the Directorate is not their only enemy.
I enjoyed the 16.5 hours I spent with this 418 page novel. It reminded me a little of the “Lost Fleet” series. While this is the second of the author’s “Treasons Cycle” it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. The character of Ballin is a little rough around the edges and willing to ignore the rules when they get in the way, but he is firm in his commitment to keep his crew in top condition. Nor does he lightly think of sacrificing the men and women under his command. Besides the pure military aspects of the novel, there is also conspiracy and intrigue within the leadership of both the Directorate and the Empire. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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