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About Trailblazer by Michelle Diener

He’s on a mission . . .
She’s running for her life . . .
And if they get off-planet alive, she’ll have to trust he won’t reveal her darkest secret.

Tally Riva is not what she seems, and even she’s not happy about it. Infected, invaded, she’s not quite sure how to describe it, but on a disastrous mission to a ghost ship, something burrowed its way into her body. Into her mind.

When her commander decides the best cure for what he thinks is Tally’s trauma is to send her on the famous Veltos Trail, Tally goes without revealing what’s really behind her mental anguish. Anything to be seen as normal again, anything to ignore what she’s afraid is happening to her.

But Veltos isn’t the safe place it seems. The chosen military personnel lucky enough to be offered the chance to walk the Trail are supposed to be the only people on Veltos. But Ben Guthrie, a captain in Arkhoran Special Forces, knows they’re not. He and his team have been on Veltos for a month already, tracking suspicious enemy activity, and he’s gone undercover on the Trail in search of a satellite his superiors are sure has been shot down.

When Ben’s worst fears become reality, and they find themselves hunted by a cunning enemy through the thick forests of Veltos, Tally and Ben fight together to survive. And Tally has to decide if accepting the changes inside her will save them both, or be her doom.

TRAILBLAZER is a standalone novel, and the third full length book set in the world of the Verdant String.

Books in the series are: Interference & Insurgency (Two Novellas of the Verdant String), Breakaway, Breakeven, Trailblazer.


Review of Trailblazer

I loved the beginning of this book that proved it would not just be another typical Verdant String book.

Let me explain. Breakway and Breakeven were the first two books in the series that both dealt with the breakaway planets of the Verdant String. They had a lot of similarities in protagonists, antagonists and the way the story developed. The opening chapter of Trailblazer proved that there would be a little something different in this book.

I could not turn the pages fast enough.

After a stint on a ghost ship, Tally has been blessed/infected with some type of organism that helps her when she needs help. With or without her approval. They make her stronger, faster, heighten her senses and sometimes take her sleepwalking. But they are only trying to help. Ben is the first person that Tally admits all too, since everyone else seems to think the ghost ship adventure may have affected Tally’s mental capacities. It did, but in a good way. If you like those little friends running around inside your body.

Perhaps the Tally and Ben, jumped into bed together a little fast. I mean, they really did not know each other that well. However, they work together well – as in evading capture, leading the bad guys astray, protecting the rest of the team and facing the bad guys. However, of the pair, Tally is the enticing wild card. With her little friends inside her, nobody knows what she might do next. That is what kept me reading into the night.

On Veltos, there is a lot going on. And you never really get the whole story of why the Caruson are on Veltos. But the Caruson have been the aggressors in all three books, so while the details are lacking, the overall picture of the Verdant String worlds against the Caruson holds the series together.

You also do not get an explanation of Tally’s little friends. Where they came from, what their goal is, and why they chose Tally. I kept waiting for this explanation. A tie to Earth is hinted at, or maybe I just read that into it based on my own Earth-centric view. I can only hope there will more to the Verdant String series, though Diener’s past series have been limited to 3 books. Usually, I am happy with the 3 and out philosophy. However, with the series, I want more!

Trailblazer is, without question, my favorite of the Verdant String series so far.

Thanks to the author who gave me a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.



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