Lieutenant Kimberly Kinsale has always tried to live her life with honor and dignity. She keeps the vows she makes and serves her clan well. That is until she realizes that the man who commands her fleet holds a secret that changes everything. Commander Lin Jacob Rama of Clan Ramayan has a very personal reason for perpetuating the war against the Clan Douglas. He is willing to do any thing to achieve his aims. Kimberly is a part of that mission and flies planes for him in the war. Then she begins to see the madness that has overtaken Rama. He speaks in different voices and seems like two separate people. Kimberly then joins the rebel alliance to try and bring peace to the world they live in.
Lord Lachlan de Douglas is the sole heir to Clan Douglas. He knows that his family is innocent of any wrong doing and wants the war to end as much as everyone else. When he is captured by Rama after Rama defies a peace treaty, Lachlan fully expects to die at the man’s hand. Then he is rescued by a mysterious woman with whom he feels an instant connection. He must decide if he can trust Lieutenant Kinsale to help his people or if she is just trying to manipulate him for her own ends.
I wasn’t sure I really wanted to read this book. It is entirely set in the very distant future in the year 3210. The people no longer can inhabit Earth and live on planets that we consider uninhabitable such as Mars. They have technologies and items that we can barely imagine. The setting of this book is completely foreign to me and the ideas that Ms. Gray proposes boggle the mind.
Despite my hesitation, I sat down to read and am so glad that I did. Rather than a science fiction book that uses jargon and esoteric concepts to prove its point, I found a smart and ingenious take on society and just what makes us human. In this book, Ms. Gray explores the nature of humanity and madness. She introduces the ideas of robotic soldiers that seem to have no souls and what people will do to hold onto their humanity. She allows her readers to question their own understanding of humanity and what death really means without forcing us to do so. The relationship between Lachlan and Kimberly is challenged when they each are transformed into something other by the matrix. Ms. Gray does a nice job of explaining this transformation and what it means for the characters so just bear with it. It does become clearer as the characters themselves try to understand what has happened to them.
In addition to her commentary on humanity, Ms. Gray’s thoughts on the war between the clans and how easily misunderstandings and treachery can escalate seems relevant to world events in our current time. She spent a great deal of time researching the recent changes in astronomy and adapting them into her book. This book is timely and meaningful and much deeper than a typical light hearted romance. This book was a true joy and I loved every minute of it.