Over-all rating: 4 stars
“Hero’s End” is a better book, both stylistically and story-wise, than “Sovran’s Pawn“. The characters are alive with rich background details. Scenery is described in dramatic fashion but not to the point that a reader becomes bored with every descriptive nuance. The story is well paced with a good blend of action and exposition. If you love the lush settings, blood-curdling action, and cliffhangers of George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series, you will like this book.
Plot (no spoilers): 4stars
Blade Devon and Bo Barron are back to save the galaxy each other. While there are certainly over-arcing political plotlines within “Hero’s End”, this is the story of Blade and Bo. As the second in a series, the book does a good job of treading the fine line between re-telling the first book and plunging the reader into the action with no point of reference. The first three chapters are a bit slower paced than the rest of the book, but still manage to draw you in.
This series of books is good, classic, space opera. The plot is character driven and centered around the romance of the two protagonists. Don’t be misled, though. This is not a sappy romance novel set in space. Cassels has created an entire galaxy full of competing star systems, power-plays, holo-feature starlets, and mystical wisemen.
There’s more mysticism in this story than in the prior book. I always have to give myself a good mental shake when there’s talk of telepathy. Yes mind reading is all very sci-fi, but the book does take place on spaceships and alien planets.
Formatting: 3 stars
I’m still an ebook snob, so I’m not going to over-look the lack of a working Table of Contents or chapter hyperlinks.
I stayed up until 4am to finish “Hero’s End”. Be warned, it ends in a cliffhanger that is so wrenching as to make me curse aloud. Fans of space opera will not want to miss this book.