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by Lawrence Parlier

In the depths of space, amidst a relentless interstellar war, Nena Videt's name echoes as both a legend and a pariah. Convicted of a crime she vehemently denies, she rots in prison, a star-faring turned into a forgotten prisoner.
But when the Union of Galactic Commerce faces imminent destruction, the lines between hero and villain blur and desperate times call for desperate measures. Drawn from her darkened cell, Nena is thrust into a world where freedom awaits-but at a cost.
As she joins a crew on the edge of mutiny, Nena must navigate more than perilous space battles. A mysterious race of warrior women seeks to claim her as their own, offering both allegiance and enmity.
In the heart of the conflict, Nena finds herself in an uneasy alliance with Admiral Kirpich, a relentless leader hell-bent on securing victory, no matter the consequences.
This book is a riveting sci-fi saga of redemption. Nena Videt's journey will take readers on a voyage through uncharted territory, where the lines between loyalty and betrayal, heroism and atrocity, blur into infinite.

Publisher: The Elite Lizzard Publishing Company
Tropes: Galactic Civilization, Space Battles, Space Pilot
Tropes: Galactic Civilization, Space Battles, Space Pilot
Reviews:Anne on The Reading Life Blog wrote:

Voided Review
Rating: 4 out of 5.

Voided takes readers on a thrilling journey through a distant future where the Union of Galactic Commerce is on the brink of collapse, and the fate of the entire galaxy hangs in the balance. The story introduces us to Nena Videt, a legendary naval pilot imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. When the Union Navy conscripts incarcerated pilots, including Nena, to save their civilization, she faces a life-changing choice: embrace a dangerous mission for a chance at redemption and freedom or remain confined forever.

The story kicks off when Nena Videt is awakened by the announcement of her impending transfer. The scene is set in a futuristic prison facility, Eridani Pier, orbiting the gas giant Caelus. Parlier skillfully immerses readers in this dystopian world, where prisoners are stacked in pods and virtual interaction is the norm. Her character immediately stood out to me as a resilient and sharp-witted protagonist with a hilarious sense of snark and humour.

The narrative unfolds with a tantalizing mix of space exploration, political intrigue, and interpersonal drama. What makes Voided particularly compelling is the attention to detail in the science fiction world-building. The descriptions of the massive Union flagship, the Shaytan, and the technology used in the hyperspace drops are vivid and imaginative. Parlier’s ability to convey the dangers and uncertainties of hyperspace travel adds a thrilling dimension to the narrative. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the Union is facing dire challenges, and Nena’s role in the mission is pivotal.

Now, let’s talk about some of the names in this story – they’re wild! This is just a little note I had when reading the book and doesn’t impact the quality of the book. But it’s hilarious so I want to share it. They remind me of that meme where authors seem to smash their hands on keyboards to come up with names (‘Olankampf’ had me chuckling when I saw it for the first time).

It’s always fun when a story introduces us to characters with more unusual and unexpected names. Normally I see things like this with high fantasy (e.g. Sarah J. Maas), so it’s quite interesting to see it in Science Fiction for the first time in a while. Love it though, I’m all for it.

The characters in Voided are also well-developed, each with their own motives and personalities. Nena’s witty banter especially provides moments of humour and tension and made me laugh out loud with quotes like this:

“I think you should report to medical before we fit the crown. The rush of data could be damaging.” Nalwist’s tilted his head, turning his big ostrich eye my way.

I glared at the skittish little shit and thought about drop-kicking him.

It’s these humorous moments that add a delightful touch to the story! They felt natural and positively contributed to the reading experience by adding diversity to the story’s writing style, mood, and pacing.

In the closing chapters, we witness the culmination of Nena’s extraordinary character development. From the very beginning of the story, where she’s unjustly imprisoned, to her emergence as a commander entrusted with critical decisions, Nena’s transformation is nothing short of remarkable. Her growth is not just in rank but in her ability to navigate the complexities of the universe around her. She has evolved from a victim of circumstance to a resilient and determined leader who faces her challenges head-on. Her journey serves as a testament to human endurance and adaptability, making her an immensely relatable and inspiring character for readers.

Amidst the perilous mission and the looming uncertainty, the camaraderie and genuine friendships between Nena, Taito, Raibous, and Slim, were heartwarming to read and helped strengthen my emotional attachment to their well-being when reading Voided. Their interactions, laced with humour and mutual support, add depth and authenticity to the narrative. This camaraderie not only enriches the story but also underscores the importance of relationships and unity in the face of adversity.

Within Voided, we witness Nena Videt’s heroic quest for redemption, her fight for survival, and her relentless pursuit of freedom. As we journey through the vast Cosmos, we’re treated to awe-inspiring cosmic conflicts, enthralling personal conflicts, and surprising unions. This science fiction adventure delves into the profound realms of human fortitude, the art of sacrifice, and the unwavering determination of individuals who boldly challenge destiny.

Note for readers who appreciate warning for cliffhangers: the final chapter seems to build a significant amount of tension and suspense leading to a climatic cliffhanger.

About the Author

Lawrence "Ace" Parlier is an author/poet/musician from Cincinnati, OH.
His debut poetry book, Walking Back to Bethel, was published in 2021.
His solo music project, Flux Corporation, has music streaming on all platforms.