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REVIEW: Suicide Run – T. S. Hottle

Suicide Run - T. S. Hottle

Genre: Sci-Fi

Reviewer: H.L.

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About The Book

Life on Amargosa was supposed to be quiet for Cui Yun, better known by her call sign Suicide. But when a baby is dropped on her doorstep, the mother’s disappearance leads her across the galaxy to a world of Neanderthals, a colony devoted that worships Marilyn Monroe as a goddess, and a planet still in a post-apocalypse and rife with monster plants. She and her protege will find themselves above the galactic plain facing down an enemy that wants control of human evolution itself.

Suicide Run marks the return of one of TS Hottle’s most popular characters. Find out where she came from, how she became a pilot, and why her call sign is ‘Suicide’.*****Praise for Suicide Run:“It’s always a treat to find the rare author who can tell a good action story and at the same time develop his characters into living, breathing individuals. T.S. Hottle does both, and he does it well. The action is fast-paced and page-turning, while the characters are inventive and realistic.” – R.A. McCandless, author of The Clockwork Detective

The Review

Following an assassination attempt on the life of Amargosa’s Governor, Lt. Commander Cui Yun – AKA ‘Suicide’ – is called back into action when one of the Governor’s infant daughters is left on her doorstep. The quiet life she’d hoped to enjoy after years of battle, hardship and loss is quickly over when she and her protege JT are tasked with getting the baby to safety, finding the other daughter, and reuniting them with their missing mother. 

But as she, JT and their allies follow the trail, it becomes clear that the mission is far more complex than just getting the Governor’s daughters and wife to safety – they have been drawn into a battle against those in the galaxy who are seeking to control human evolution and immortality itself. 

Cui Yun is nothing short of a total badass. She’s a hardcore seasoned soldier and pilot, and is rarely phased by any situation. Her past, and how she came to have her call sign ‘Suicide’, is revealed to the reader steadily in flashbacks, giving weight to everything she does. Suicide is a woman who has lived, loved, and lost, and a soldier who has been through more than most – which makes her pretty much the best at what she does.

The story is dense with worldbuilding. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the start, with the story launching you straight into thick of things, but at no point were there any info-dumps; all of the worldbuilding was expertly woven into the narrative. The worlds and factions have complex political relationships and pasts, and the various races and species are so intriguing that I found myself wanting to spend more time with each of them as Suicide followed the trail of the Governor’s missing family. We meet a race known as the lyncanths, werewolf-like sentient beings, and a world of descendants of earth’s Neanderthals who were rescued by an ancient alien race and deposited on another world. 

It wasn’t until about halfway through the book that I realised Suicide Run belongs to Hottle’s larger ‘Compact Universe’, which provides the background to the series’ political and warfare history, but lack of prior knowledge of the series didn’t affect my enjoyment of Suicide Run.

Although the sheer detail and dense worldbuilding may feel intimidating to start with, T S Hottle’s Suicide Run is a fast-paced, thrilling and action-packed adventure that follows one of the most compelling female characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I for one can’t wait to check out some of the other stories in the ‘Compact Universe’ – particularly if it means I get to see Suicide in another adventure!

The Reviewer

H. L. is a Jewish Australian writer of LGBT+ fiction. She holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (2015) and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism (2012), both from the University of New South Wales.

She has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. She is the author of M/M fantasy romance novels Heart Of Dust and Soul Of Ash, Books 1 & 2 of the Death’s Embrace series.

She has had two speculative short stories published: “The Collector” in the 2014 Future Times Award Collection A Tick Tock Heart, and “Entente” in the 2020 Twisted Stories Award Collection Just Alice.

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