BOOK REVIEW: ANDROMEDA'S CHOICE / AUTHOR: WILLIAM C. DIETZ / PUBLISHER: TITAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Sprawling military sci-fi space opera can be a bit of a hit or miss genre. Get it right and you have an action movie in text format. Get it wrong and you have a tedious drudge that offends both those with military experience and fans of sci-fi.
Luckily, former US Army and Marine Corpsman William C. Dietz hasn’t gotten it wrong yet. Andromeda’s Choice is the sequel to Andromeda’s Fall and is part of Dietz’s broader Legion of the Damned series, though these books are very much a prequel to that range.
The titular Andromeda is an interesting central character. She’s clever, witty but bitter and pretty much able to do anything. She’s also a princess in exile who went into hiding when the current Empress took control. Years at the front have made her a battle-scarred veteran and it’s nice to see that Dietz doesn’t fall for the usual ‘kick-ass but beautiful’ trope, instead opting to depict a survivor whose main assets are her skill, intelligence and personal strength rather than the way others see her.
Much like its predecessor, Andromeda’s Choice is heavily focused on action. The character development and interaction is pretty much only there so you have some emotional investment in events and care when one of the heroes gets hurt. The space opera elements are pretty much scenery, what we have is a bit of backstory or angst, then some action, then some more story, then even more action. Formulaic it may be, but it certainly works and the book is entertaining and engaging throughout, gripping the reader and not really letting go.
This is not a complex novel, it slides neatly into the ongoing series and you don’t really need to have read any of the other books to understand what is going on. Dietz does a good job of summarising the key plot points early on and then gets into the action. If you like this sort of thing, then you may be advised to stock up, they’re very more-ish and perfect for lazy holiday reading.