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By C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
Publisher: Crossroad Press Publishing
Release Date: October 13, 2016
If you’ve read some of my interviews and reviews, you know that I have a great appreciation for indie authors. I also love the fantasy and science fiction sub-genre of grimdark. Some of my favorite books are grimdark.
You may be asking yourself, “what the heck is grimdark?” Well, Lucifer’s Star, by indie authors C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus is as grimdark as they come.
Cassius Mass’ time in hiding on the ship known as the Melampus is about to come to an abrupt end. Mass had once been a leader for his homeworld of Crius – revered as one of the galaxy’s most talented star pilots – in its war with the Commonwealth. When Crius fell, its leaders either died in battle or by execution, and so Mass did what any other person of reputable standing from his world would have done: he hid. But as tempers in the galaxy flare, and secrets begin to be revealed amongst the Melampus’ crew, Mass soon finds himself caught in a war he wants nothing to do with, with both sides seemingly wanting to use him for their own gain.
This is the story of a war hero whom most in the galaxy don’t admire, including himself. This is the story of a man, caught between warring factions, who realizes that there might not really be a side worth fighting for. This is the story of a galaxy filled with cynicism, treachery, and a whole lot of loss (in all of its iterations). These are just some of the reasons why Lucifer’s Star falls into the grimdark subgenre. Does it all sound depressing? Well, it can be. But it is also a story that takes its reader on a journey of discovery and self-reflection; one that forces its reader to ponder and evaluate extremely difficult moral quandaries. In my mind, that’s an amazing feat.
With Lucifer’s Star, Phipps and Suttkus have managed to create a bleak space-opera with space battles akin to Star Wars and political backstabbing in the vein of Game of Thrones. It contains themes such as slavery and what it means to be “human”; and while the world is quite grim and its inhabitants are often contemptuous towards their fellow man, the book doesn’t lack in its share of humor – which is something many grimdark novels haven’t figured out the right procedure for.
Lucifer’s Star is a dark book, but it is also a book that will make you think. Every chapter is filled with beautifully crafted expositions of the cast of characters’ beliefs through engaging, and oftentimes witty dialogue. The characters in this novel, while living, fighting, surviving, and dying through fictitious and fantastical scenarios, are as real as they come.
If you don’t mind some grim and some dark in your science fiction, then check out Lucifer’s Star!