Friday, 23 December 2016
BOOK REVIEW: ANDROMEDA'S CHOICE BY WILLIAM C DIETZ
William C. Dietz
Publisher: Titan Books
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
This is the follow up to William C. Dietz's Legion of the Damned series . The basic idea is if readers liked Andromeda's Fall, this continues the story of Andromeda McKee who wants vengeance over her family being killed by Ophelia. As she thinks she is the only surviving member until she discovers her uncle Rex, the leader of the resistance wants the same as her. William C. Dietz hasn't just written a few novels in the Legion of the Damned series, he's written several going up to 2015; The Final Battle, By Blood Alone, By Force of Arms, For More Than Glory, For Those Who Fell, When All Seems Lost, When Duty Calls and A Fighting Chance. He has gone a long way to create a gritty, realistic story where Ophelia doesn't understand that there are those who can get to her from the outside if they want to, and being surrounded by armed men can be a disadvantage if you are her.
As the second in the series, Andromeda McKee (Cat Carletto) has been given the Imperial Order of Merit, and as such she has to come back to Earth if she wants to be given it. As the story from Andromeda's Fall has already been a very strong one about her life so far and all the crises and horrors in it, this one builds up on the character development we originally saw. While the first novel had her caught unawares with the death of her family, this novel finds her at her maturest ready to fight for what she believes in, despite all the odds being stacked against her. It is a very subtle irony that Andromeda has to return to Earth to receive her honor, yet by staying away, she is out of the radar of Princess Ophelia, the woman who could destroy her hopes or revenge. This story has many of these hopes she has in her head to fulfill, but whether she can fulfill them all remains to be seen. She is a stubborn woman and a keen warrior who wants to stand by her principles, but as for many like her, her hatred and thirst for blood can get in her way. From when we first saw her in Andromeda's Fall, her reasons for changing her name from Cat Carletto are obvious; as one of the surviving members of her murdered family, she would seem like easy prey to anyone around her ordered by Ophelia to kill her, so even though she was a socialite, she is using her brain by deciding to change it.
Andromeda has grown from the first novel, and continues to grow in this one as well. The most unexpected thing is that no one would have thought that someone like Cat could become such an able Legionnaire worthy of the title of Imperial Order of Merit - but from the first novel she has learned what it is to be hurt, betrayed and to have something dear to fight for. The title for Andromeda's Choice is just that, over the course of the novel she has to make her choices, some she finds abhorrent, while others she thought would turn out well, did actually turn the opposite and might leave her wishing she had left them well alone. After all, Andromeda is only responding to what Ophelia did to her family, yet her doing so can cause so many other problems. Part of the story has her in two minds as to whether she wants to stay on the battlefield and fight with her men and stay away from Earth for the time being, or go back and be counted, possibly kill Ophelia or be killed by her. As we have come to know by now, Andromeda is far from being a coward after all she has done for the Legion.
Dietz has taken a lady and made her into a fighting machine who mucks in with her her fellow fighters in the thick of battle. However she does have time to reflect on what could have been had she not become this amazing warrior. She has had to escape the assassins who wanted to kill her after killing her family, as well as fight against those who would want to take down the Legion along with her. Andromeda's Choice is full of battles that act as though they are never ending, and after a while we still get to find out more about Andromeda and how she has had to evade being captured for so long. Once readers get into Dietz's story, and characters, they can't get away from the mystery and intrigue they give out, so it's a case of once you read them, be prepared to want to invest in the next set of novels.