Book Review: Andromeda's Choice

Andromeda's Choice by William C. Dietz, The Prequel Legion series #2

Andromeda McKee rebuilt her life in the violent embrace of the Legion of the Damned in the days when cyborgs were first being introduced. Now she must choose between her conscience and her desire for vengeance...

In a different world, Lady Catherine “Cat” Carletto would never have left her pampered life behind. But when Princess Ophelia became Empress Ophelia in a coup that claimed the lives of the princess’s brother and all who supported him, including the Carletto family, Cat had to hide—or die.

She became Legionnaire Andromeda McKee, and now she’s a battle-scarred veteran who knows how to kill.

Summoned to Earth to receive the Imperial Order of Merit from the empress herself, Andromeda learns that she isn’t the sole surviving Carletto—her uncle Rex is not only still alive but also the leader of a resistance group determined to overthrow Ophelia.

Caught up in a web of intrigue, Andromeda realizes that the moment is coming when her revenge will be at hand. But will she be able to act, or will she be betrayed by those she has come to trust?

Earlier this year Titan Books published the first book in The Prequel Legion series by William C. Dietz: Andromeda's Fall. This series tell the events that lead up to the eventual nine book series Legion of William C. Dietz. I have head my eyes on this series for a while, read some very solid military Science Fiction: the Rogue Clone series by Steven L. Kent. Andromeda's Fall was a great start of the prequel series, William C. Dietz introduced a very cool promise for his prequel series and his original series, and further more he showed that he knew how to tell a story, from building the world, creating the right setting and showing what his characters are all about, it was a very solid start.

Andromeda's Choice picks up directly where Andromeda's Fall was left. In the first book William C. Dietz introduced Lady Catherine Carletto who grew up with quite a lot of wealth and basically lived the dream, until one of her family members Princess Ophelia staged a bloody coup and rose to power as Empress Ophelia. During the coup, Ophelia got rid of all of Catherine's family, in a last attempt to stay alive Catherine took serious actions changed her name and joined the Legion, similar to the French Foreign Army. Catherine survived everything in the end but her problems were far from over, plus she also wants her revenge of Empress Ophelia for everything that she did. She cannot go unpunished. With Catherine having found refuge in the Legion, she has also other obligations and that is working for the Legion as a soldier. In the first book you learned that she is determined and this has caused her to preform better than some other soldiers and in recent events she has quite set herself apart, Andromeda is called back to Earth to receive a Imperial Order of Merit. But while she is back on Earth she get confronted by people from her past. She finds out that her uncle Rex survived and that he now runs a group of rebels to get rid of Ophelia. During her ceremony, Andromeda is suddenly confronted by two sides, and has to make a tough decision whether to let her revenge take the upper hand or let her conscience play out. But his isn't all to the story of Andromeda's Choice as Andromeda does find herself battleing once again for the Legion and their plans... and yes there is still more to it. Andromeda put everything to desperately keep her new identity a secret, but you know with old acquaintances... a scar cannot keep you hidden forever.

The story just as what was written in Andromeda's Fall, was very gripping and as I mentioned in that review William C. Dietz knows how to create an engaging and dynamic surrounding in his story. Though there is enough talking and intrigue taking place, this doesn't pose a drag on the story at all, instead by all the rapid fire action that also takes place during these scenes there is a good pacing to it all, really making the pages fly by. The synopsis of Andromeda's Choice might sound like a simple one, with Andromeda collection her award, but this only makes up the start, afterwards the story is thrown in quite a much bigger picture and makes you wonder what the Legion is actually all about... 

As for the main protagonist Andromeda McKee, I don't think there is a more stronger yet just as emotional a character around. William C. Dietz impressed me with the picture he created with Andromeda. She went in the first book from a rich young women living the high life to a bottom position ending up in the Legion. This transformation was shown in a very nice way, not all of a sudden but really seeing how hard ti was for Andromeda to cope with it all. Now in this sequel, Andromeda has accepted her new position and has come to terms with it. But she still has a devotion of getting her revenge. Even that she is growing up in the ranks of the Legion life still isn't easy for her, she constantly has to learn new things and adapt accordingly and this is something that makes her character so interesting. She knows what is right and what is wrong, but she also is a loyal soldier who carries out what is asked of her. Her own contemplations whether it is all ok what she and her teams does, does make you think and wonder about many other though. William C. Dietz made his whole series that more thought provoking by showing Andromeda the way he does. She is far by a standard protagonist.

What would military Science Fiction be without some heated battles? Well look no further and dig into Andromeda's Choice right away, the action is rapid fire and non stop. Even when Andromeda and Larking make their way to Earth action seems to hide behind each corner. Though on Earth it is all on a much smaller scale but nonetheless lacking anything as when the it is transferred to the planet of the Naa, Algernon, when it goes down on this planet, William C. Dietz really pulls all the plugs and shows some very fine writing that get you to the edge of your seat within the first few moment. Though I am not that familiar with a lot of military gear and tech, the descriptions of the machinery that the Legion uses produced very clear pictures in my mind. It was really, really good!

Just as with Andromeda's Fall, William C. Dietz has written a very strong story with Andromeda's Choice, further building on the strong character of Andromeda showing just how determined she is to get her right over Ophelia but also making her emotional when it comes down to making decisions, she isn't just a robot to order around but has her own opinion and thoughts that make her actions unpredictable. Where William C. Dietz introduced us most to Andromeda in the first book, he now delves deeper with his story in the action of the Legion itself putting already quite a few questions marks behind several of their actions. Next to the main plot revolving Andromeda and her quest for revenge, there are also some great sidetracks being introduced early on, regarding Andromeda's character that when you reach the final page of the book really leaves it all on a cliffhanger. I know I will be rooting for Andromeda to kick some more ass. The last book in the prequel series will be released in December later this year, but in the meanwhile Titan Books has already published several books in the original Legion series, be sure to check them out!


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