I was thrilled to get this book slightly before its release as it was made available at Dragon Con. It was even more thrilling to meet author Joel Shepherd as his previous Cassandra Kresnov trilogy were the first books I ever read from Pyr Books last year. (Crossover, Breakaway, and Killswitch) I was impressed with all three of them, and it encouraged me to keep going with other authors from Pyr.
Now, on to the present book. 23 Years on Fire is the beginning of another trilogy about Commander Cassandra Kresnov, an android, or GI, living in the far future on the planet of Callay. It’s not necessary to have read the first set of books to understand everything in the story because explanations are given when needed. It has all of my favorite elements from the previous books–lots of action and intrigue, excellent character development, and intricate world development. When I was reading the book, I felt like I was actually in the world and every time I had to stop reading, it took me a moment to come back to the 21st century. I have high respect for any author who can do that.
I was also impressed with the character development. Although Cassandra is an android, there is an element of humanity to her that made me think of what being a human actually means. One of her GI friends has married and adopted children, and you can tell she has thought about this through her interactions with those children and with the children she meets towards of the middle of the book when she goes to the planet of New Torah.
And finally, the action and intrigue. The storyline kept me on the edge of my seat. The outcome was not known until the very end, and there was an excellent set-up for Shepherd’s next book.
So, if you are interested in military science fiction with a well-developed plot that makes you think, I can wholeheartedly recommend 23 Year on Fire. Five stars!!!