cover image 23 Years on Fire

23 Years on Fire

Joel Shepherd. Pyr, $16.95 trade paper (439p) ISBN 978-1-61614-809-6

Part military SF, part techno-thriller, the fourth chapter in the Cassandra Kresnov series (after Killswitch) finds the cyborg soldier determined to stop a secretive planetary government from creating a new and even more inhuman army of genetically enhanced cyborg fighters. At 22, Sandy is “ancient,” regarded as a model veteran and Federation citizen on a world where religious radicals and biotech conservatives hate her and the technology that created her. As Sandy copes with fears that she’s missing the emotions of a “regular human,” she learns that the rival system, New Torah, is developing the more deadly type of military cyborg. While the Federation government drags its feet, Sandy makes connections to illicit research on the planet Pyeongwha, where the government has exploited a new technology to control the population. Sandy and her fellow vets decide it’s time to take matters into their own hands. While new readers may have trouble getting up to speed on the complex backstory, Shepherd delivers plenty of action and suspense to entertain fans of military SF. (Sept.)