Review by Serial Science Fiction Reviews ****

In the Shadow of Death, Stefan Vucak, Author

In the Shadow of Death - Slider

Something is brewing in the backwater planetary system of the Deklan Oligarchy’s Four Suns. And it’s going to take all of Second Scout Terrllss-rr’s energy, spirit, intelligence, and maybe even his life, to find out what that something is.

The Serrll Combine has had enough of Kapel Pen, the leading Matriarch on the planet Elexi. As a result the General Assembly decides to send an Envoy to investigate her affairs. But of course, this cannot take place without a valid reason, and the Serrll has no such reason. As with all great politicians, Enllss-rr creates one – slavery. Although slavery is not illegal in the Four Suns, enslaving free citizens is.

Under the pretext of illegal slavery the Assembly sends Envoy Rayon, along with Second Scout Terrllss-rr, to Elexi. Although Terr’s mission is to distract Kapel’s intelligence machinery while the Envoy conducts the real investigation, he soon stumbles upon the truth that Kapel’s ambition has no bounds. The females of the Pen family have reigned supreme over Elexi for nearly three hundred years. This however, is not enough for Kapel.

Terr must fight for his life in order to get his information to his superiors. One attack after another sees him beaten, broken, and his ship downed over the alien Wanderer planet. Kapel must be stopped for the sake of the Serrll and the people of Elexi. With Terr shot down and presumed dead, there is no one left to stop her, or is there?

In the Shadow of Death is a great book with marvellous descriptions, characters and plot structure. I found it to be very fast paced, so pay attention. If you don’t, you may end up lost, for the cast of characters is very large. With that said, I look forward to reading more from Stefan Vucak.

Copyright © E. Carter Jones, 2001

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