Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cerys : Valkyrie Earth


 This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Merrin Slade will award a $50 Kobo gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

 In a world where perfection is demanded of its citizens, one imperfect woman may be the only person who can save humanity.

One thousand years in the future, humans have developed the ability to alter their genes to create a perfect version of themselves, but not all are so fortunate. Cerys Skye is a Wild Type, genetically unaltered and forced to live in the Refuge—a place for Wild Types and the unlucky citizens whose genetic modifications society has deemed as imperfect.

All the fiery tempered young woman knows is how to fight. Using her wits and skills, Cerys must compete in brutal prize fights if she is to bring food to the table for her younger sister. But, she is always aware that the next fight could her last—she must find a way out of this life.

Leaving behind all that she knows, the last place the tempestuous Cerys expects to find herself is joining the United Planet's Space Force Academy, where she battles prejudice and intolerance in a world run by genetically modified humans.

As the new recruit discovers, not all is as it seems at the Academy with a shadowy cyber-evil seeking to threaten humanity. But, when loyalties are tested and the stakes are high, can Cerys rely on newfound allies and her unshakeable courage to stop the impending catastrophe?

Contains mature themes.

My review...

It’s tough to be expected to be perfect. It’s even tougher to be imperfect and have a job as a fighter just to support you and your sibling. It’s tough to have a ratty sibling too.

Slade paints a really good picture of a sci-fi world here. The technology, the varied and separated cultures, the haves and have nots, the smart and the not so smart, and the perfect and not so perfect or so it seems. It wasn’t a world I liked everything in, but I will admit, it was a possible picture.

There’s a little bit of varied genre here for everyone. Lots of action, suspense, anger, and even a little humor. There’s romance too, a little more sensual/spicy than I might like (made me blush) but it isn’t a big part of the story. There was also a lot of forceful, angry behavior in this story, but although I might not have liked that I can’t say it didn’t fit the storyline.

As is stated in the synopsis, this can definitely be read as a stand-alone. It appears to me that this is a debut book for Merrin Slade. 

Hope we’ll see book #2. 

Read an Excerpt

She felt light-headed. “I need half an hour. To find my sister, that’s all…” Starla would understand this was for both of them. She would ask Gerry to take Starla in. Of course, she would. Gerry had a big heart.

“If you’re joining the Space Force, you leave now. You must decide,” he said.

Panic seized her. “I have to say goodbye. I must make arrangements.”

“Step into the pick-up zone. Or you are free to stay behind.”

Cerys glanced up at the silver disk darting through the clouds towards them. She looked back at the crowd. Inquisitive tourists gathered in a wide circle around her. Standing on the edge of the pick-up zone, their faces flashed: green, white, green, white.

In that moment, a woman shoved to the front of the crowd, the haft of a sword glinting over her shoulder—a Valkyrie.

“Kara,” Cerys shouted. “Over here.”

“Cerys.” Kara strode towards the checkpoint. GMs shrank away. “What’s going on? Did they take you? I heard about it.”

The secofficer scowled, and the crowd whooped.

“Kara, listen.” Cerys tugged her aside. “I’ve been recruited to the Space Force. Tell Gerry to look after Starla, and tell Starla…I love her. I’m getting her out of here. I’ll send money. Promise me.”

Kara blinked. “Now? You’re going now?”

“Just promise.”

“I promise.” She nodded vigorously. “Of course, I promise. Hey, what’s this…?”

Secnoids grabbed Kara from behind, dragging her away. Even the famous Valkyrie were not permitted to say goodbye.

“Tell Starla I’ll message…” Cerys shouted, but Kara was already lost in the crowd.

About the Author: Merrin Slade is a science fiction writer who transports readers to alternate futures and faraway universes.

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