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Review: The Master of Puppets – Molly J. Bragg

The Master of Puppets - Molly J. Bragg

Genre: Sci-Fi, Alien Invasion

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

Jakari, an alien assassin, receives orders taking her to a primitive alien world. She expects the mission to be like any other. Get in, eliminate the target and get out again. Instead, when she arrives, she finds out that one of the leaders of the fascist Char Oram is there, seeking to turn the inhabitants into mindless soldiers that could tip the war in favor of the Char.

Hayami Takahashi follows a strange woman down a dark street and all she wants is to make sure the woman didn’t wind up as the next victim of a kidnapping ring working the streets of Dallas. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of a civil war between two factions of shape shifting cyborg aliens.

After Jakari saves Hayami from becoming a test subject in a Char lab, the two of them are working together to stop a war that’s been raging for nine thousand years.

The Review

When I read the first book by a new author, and I love that book, I’m often worried that the second book I read by that same writer will not be as good, or as satisfying, and I’ll be disappointed. With The Master of Puppets by Molly J. Bragg, that fear was not only wholly unfounded, it was blasted to smithereens by this truly excellent tale. 

This book was written so very well that the world building was nearly seamless. Even when there was a lot of pertinent information to deliver, it never felt as if I was reading the options list on a new car I was considering buying. If I had any confusion, it was because there were a lot of names to remember and some that were similar, but that was a tiny thing amongst a very well-constructed story that was action-packed and filled with well-developed, interesting, angsty characters.

One of the things I think the author did very well is show us how Jakari and her compatriots had so many complex emotions about what they’ve done and survived during the long war, and it felt very real and genuine without ending up self-pitying or repetitive. 

I found it very hard to put this book down. The concept is brilliant and well-executed. It’s a fast-paced story with relatable, complex characters whose relationships are like pretzels – old friends are now enemies, old enemies are untrustworthy allies, and romances aren’t always convenient or easy. 

The Master of Puppets is the beginning of a new series by author Molly J. Bragg and I am very much looking forward to the follow-up of this excellent book.

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.