An Enthralling and Unpredictable Dark Space Opera
Cassius Mass had everything…until the moment he had nothing. Former hero-starfighter-pilot, nobleman of the Crius Archduchy, Cassius Mass lost the war, his family, saw his home world destroyed, and lost the capacity to appreciate the cause that drove him to such heroic and barbaric efforts in the first place. Now a broken man and dysfunctional navigator, Cassius survives on alcohol and memory drugs, living under an assumed identity and an assumed face… until his true identity is discovered.
Then it all goes downhill from there.
Cassius ends up finding something worth fighting for: the people who are important to him. He starts realizing that everything he lost wasn’t as good as it had seemed, and that he had been part of the problem, not part of the solution.
I loved Cassius. He is a morally gray character who has enormous flaws to balance his super-human supply of attributes (such as an enviable fluency of sarcasm and military-grade cybernetic enhancements). He’s surprisingly likeable for a former terrorist and reformed, egocentric nobleman. His heart, at least (at last?), seems to be in the right place.
The problem is, now that he’s figured out what’s important, does he have a chance of holding on to it?
Lucifer’s Star is populated by a diverse and entertaining cast of characters. From bioroids designed as pleasure chattel who aspire to be human like a macabre version of Pinocchio to psychopathic clone-copies of super-genius siblings, to overarching artificial intelligences to mysterious elder-alien civilizations with bizarrely creepy taste in pastimes.
From space-battles to dungeons to swordfights to counter-espionage, Lucifer’s Star has it all. It is a vastly entertaining read that I had a horrendous time putting down. I sat reading the weekend away as laundry, chores and, yes, even bored children, piled up around me.
There’re a lot of subtle layers here, enough so that both the casual and reflective reader will be enormously entertained.
That, my friends, is a high recommendation.