Iron Truth

Iron Truth (Primaterre #1) S.A. Tholin

Posted by Khalid Muhammad Abdul-Mumin on July 31, 2023

S.A. Tholin's action-packed Iron Truth is a perfect blend of far-future science fiction and existential dread in the form of cosmic horror! She builds her world with a palpable and eerie sense of dread that utterly immerses the reader, very atmospheric and gothic too, in a way; an all-encompassing and expansive universe.

Many centuries hence, some (demonic?) cosmic force has found the fledgling galactic human empire and is devouring impure(?) souls left, right, and center in the void of space. Thus the story begins, with a crashed colony arcship, the brutal exo-planet, Cato, that it crashed on, and the special forces team sent in to recover another ship of its kind.

Paranoia.
He told himself and washed his face in the water from a canteen to remind himself of purity.

Perceive the moment.
Cold; about seven degrees centigrade. Clear; droplets splashing on the floor. Calm; the beat of his heart.

Be aware.
Awareness of the world and all its flaws and glories was simple. Awareness of the self was much more difficult. When he looked within, all he saw was... something much like the surface of Cato. Ash-covered ruin. Ripples in the dust where fear burrowed.

The only light was the Primaterre Protectorate, which he would serve until the darkness found him. He would be the Primaterre's sword and shield until the worming fear rose up to swallow him.

Iron Truth features an excellently written plot and well-fleshed-out characterizations in a story rife with elements of military Sci-Fi (amazing fight sequences included), cyberpunk, and space opera melted together, and a well-done romance thrown into the mix for good measure.

If there's anything such as 'GrimDark SciFi,' this is it. I'll be excited to continue with this series- a truly remarkable job by the author!

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