by L. J. Hachmeister
Self published by the author, Charlestown SC
Life on Fiora sucks; there's no doubt about it. Jetta, Jaeia and Jax have had to deal with, in their very young lives, everything from domestic violence to long working hours in toxic mines to scrambling to avoid starvation. On a planet that buys and sells children into slavery, and adults to much worse, it's a miracle they survived at all. Abandoned as infants, left adrift in space bearing strange and unfamiliar tatoos, they are unaware of the destiny that awaits them. They know they are different – very different – from the other people in Fiora (where “people” doesn't generally mean human, but a mix of species from all over the galaxy). Smaller and weaker than most, they have hidden telepathic abilities, and other talents that enable them to acquire knowledge directly from other minds, and at 5 they are able to hold down jobs normally reserved for engineers and specialists, a fact that does not escape attention for long.
The Dominion is in a long war which is not going well; they need every advantage they can get, and the siblings become tempting targets. But not only the Dominion, but their most feared enemies, the Motti, are also interested in these talents. For those willing to do even the unthinkable to win, the cost of a few children's bodies and souls is simply collateral damage. Jetta, Jaeia and Jax must use every skill they possess to do what life has taught them to do best – to survive.
This is one of the most interesting sci fi books I've seen in some time (although the author refers to it as space opera, so I may have to redefine my categories). The plot is complex (and this book is only the beginning of a 5 part series). The children's characters are clearly drawn, and well developed to the point where the reader can actually start to predict how a given sibling will react. Secondary characters and the events and situations that swirl around the children are plausible, and by the end of the book, we can see the outlines of an exceptionally challenging future, but we somehow know that it will not be beyond the still-emerging capabilities of these unique children, whose mysterious past and true nature are yet to be discovered.
I'm looking forward to the sequel of this book. The author has created a universe of deep texture, with a story full of twists and turns that somehow all fits together without causing undue confusion, and from a new author, this is exciting. I did find some evidence of less-than stellar editing (which I'll pass on to the author privately), but if you're a fan of complex sci fi worlds and good storytelling, this is an author you'll be following for some time.
And, saving the best for last, if you go to the website www.triorion.com, you will discover the following paragraph! "The first book in the Triorion series is now available for FREE! at Smashwords (supports , Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, home PC versions, palm reading devices and many more) and Amazon. Happy Reading!