Title: Conviction (Spectras Arise Trilogy 0)
Author: Tammy Salyer
Published: November, 2014
If Corps Tech Sergeant Aly Erikson wants to survive another day, she will have to give up everything: her identity, her rank, her attachment to her brothers-in-arms, and most of all, her guilt.
After doing her duty as a member of a ground infantry squad tasked with “neutralizing” an insurrection by non-citizens on a mining planet, Erikson realizes that everything she thought the Corps stood for, thought she stood for, is crumbling away. Where is the honor, the justice, the spirit of law? When the enemies are nothing more than outclassed and outgunned dregs of the Algol System’s forgotten people, being part of their execution squad has put her as far from the ideals of justice as Erikson can imagine. Haunted by their ghosts, she struggles to maintain her military bearing until even that is suddenly ripped away in an act of terrorism that sends her, her brother, Tech Sergeant David Erikson, and another Corpsmember, Rebecca Soltznin, on the run on a hostile planet. Forced for the first time in ten years to blend in with a civilian population, the three are faced with a single choice: regroup with their brothers-in-arms or become deserters. For Aly, it’s easy; why go back to being a cog in the death machine the Corps is becoming? But for the other two, the price for making the wrong decision may be higher than they’re willing to pay.
On the run, under attack from the scavengers who plague the system, and out of options, the three face conflict from every direction. If they can’t find a way to fight together, their chances for survival are less than zero. And for one of them, the best solution may come down to one simple act: betrayal. In this prequel to the popular Spectras Arise Trilogy, readers get an intimate look into the events that led Aly and David Erikson on their path from decorated and dedicated soldiers to black-market arms smugglers, and ultimately, to rebels against the Political and Capital Administration of the Advanced Worlds.
Characterization and badassery
Tough characters, for sure. Good people in a bad situation, just trying to survive. Gritty. Definitely ticks all the boxes for forceful personalities.
Plot and pacing
An interesting start, with a simple (not in a bad way) plot. A good pace through this novella.
Prose and editing
Excellent prose. Well-phrased, in a way where you don’t notice the words, but do notice the dirt, the sweat, the desperation.
Good editing. Not a thing in the production side of this book bothered me.
No, it’s all too grim for that. Don’t read this one if you’re in the mood for a feel-good book without a body count.
I knew this was a novella, and a prequel, going in. My expectations were on par with that. I haven’t read the other books in this series, and this book is a teaser to give a taste for the Spectras Arise series. What I found is that I really like the writing style, and will be looking for more in this series. I like characters who know who they are and what they want. I like scenarios where they have to push themselves to the limit. Push their boundaries. I think this series will do all that. I do hope that there’s an option for success, though. Conviction was so dire, with no sense of hope. I like there to be that possibility of victory. Even if victory just means a simple, contented life. We’ll see!