In this Rainbow Award-winning space opera/military sci-fi series, Earth is a dead planet, dark for thousands of years; lost for so long no one even knows where the solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But its drive to expand and found colonies of its own has threatened an alien race, the Maess, against whom Albion is now fighting a last-ditch battle for survival in a war that’s dragged on for generations.
Taking Shield charts the missions and adventures of Shield Captain Bennet, scion of a prominent military family. Bennet, also an analyst with the Military Strategy Unit, uncovers crucial data about the Maess to help with the war effort. Against the demands of his family's 'triple goddess' of Duty, Honour and Service, is set Bennet’s relationships with lovers and family—his difficult relationship with his long term partner, Joss; his estrangement from his father, Caeden, the commander of Fleet's First Flotilla; and Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, who, over the course of the series, develops into Bennet’s main love interest.
Over the Taking Shield arc, Bennet will see the extremes to which humanity’s enemies, and his own people, will go to win the war. Some days he isn’t able to tell friend from foe. Some days he doubts everything, including himself, as he strives to ensure Albion’s victory. And some days he isn’t sure, any longer, what victory looks like.
- 1 To Be Read list
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Publisher: Glass Hat
She was young. Maybe about the same age as Natalia, certainly no older than Liam. Once she had been so pretty she’d undoubtedly have caught the attention of his wayward little brother. Once she might have laughed and flirted, confident in her ability to use her looks and her slender young body to drive the Liams of this world wild, watching their frantic attempts to show off and attract her attention with demurely cast down, wicked eyes; enjoying the first tentative exercise of power. It wasn’t only teenage boys who had hormones.READ MORE
Here, her face was too pale for beauty, every last hint of colour drained from it. Even her lips were colourless. The flesh had fallen away from the bones beneath, cheekbones sharp as razors above cheeks sunk so deep Bennet could see the shape of teeth beneath. The naked body stretched out in the pod was slender, too slender, with the belly concave beneath prominent ribs. Her body was as colourless as her face, the nipples on the small breasts barely flushed with tawny-pink. If the ribcage moved, it was so slight as to be imperceptible. Without medical scanners, Bennet couldn’t be sure she was breathing.
He hoped she wasn’t.
He leaned down, splaying his hand against the pod’s transparent cover, letting it take his weight, staring down at her.
She stared back, eyes open and unblinking. They were a pale blue. Not the bright blue of Rosie, or Liam or Natalia, but icy and chill and staring up at him as if it were all his fault she was lying there, starved and dead or dying, and abused in a way no sane man could even begin to fathom.
The top of her head was missing.
No accident. It had been removed surgically an inch above her eyebrows to expose the brain, the edges of the skin clean and scalpel-cut, the brain tissue wired directly into the pod. The same little lights that had danced inside the thing at his feet, were sparkling inside her head.
Dan on Love Bytes wrote:
…the Taking Shield Series is hands down the best sci-fi series I will be reading this year!… Ms. Butler has created nothing short of an amazing thing here… I have run the full gambit of emotions with this Taking Shield series. Happy giddiness, frustrating anger, cheer out loud excitement, somber tears. The hardest part is knowing there will be no more Bennet and Flynn books. This is it folks so enjoy the ride…and what a ride it is!
Joyfully Jay on Joyfully Jay Reviews wrote:
Grief. It’s what I’ve been feeling for a couple days…and I’ve tracked it back to finishing this series. I loved the Taking Shield series … Ms. Butler is one of my favorite sci-fi authors... If you’re a sci-fi reader, and you haven’t read this series, you need to start it right now. Read it in order, they aren’t in any way standalones… I could go on praising the author all day … I can only give 5.0 stars, but I’d give it more if I could.
I desperately hope Anna Butler decides to further this series. But if she doesn’t, then I’ll be happy with Taking Shield as it stands. It’s the kind of work that, as a reviewer, I have been privileged to read.