When you’re fighting to keep your free will, you need to know who you are. But what if your mission requires a false identity? In Daniel Schwabauer’s Operation Grendel, Corporal Raymin Dahl, propagandist for the beleaguered United Colonies, receives a terrible assignment: cover the peace talks that will abandon billions of people to an enemy who enslaves minds. But when events spiral out of control and reporter becomes negotiator, Raymin must come face-to-face with that most deadly of masters: his own heartfelt desire. With terse prose and hairpin twists, this galactic noir sizzles through the circuits of the human soul. Alienation—the kind you don’t need light-years to experience—forms a recurrent theme. Bullets fly, artificial intelligences probe, and reality melds with illusory augmentation. But when the connection drops, don’t look away. The operation may not be over.
Best for: Young adults and adults seeking a dark and twisty noir.
Discern: Military sci-fi violence, depictions of torture, references to cohabitation, some sensuality and disturbing imagery.