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About Dark Matters by Michelle Diener

A time bomb, waiting to go off . . .

Lucy Harris is on the run, not sure where she can turn to for help, or if help is even available. But even as her abductors chase her down, she realizes they don’t just want to recapture her, they want to erase her.

When your very existence puts a planet at the risk of war, there’s no choice but to do everything in your power to stay out of your enemies hands.

A predator . . . waiting for the chance to pounce

The powerful AI battleship, Bane, is accompanying the United Council envoy to Tecra to mete out the punishment the Tecrans have earned for breaking UC law. He revels in the power he’s about to have over his old masters. But his mission isn’t only to rain down retribution on the people who kept him chained for years, he’s also looking for a human woman his fellow Class 5 thinking system mentioned in the final seconds of his life. Paxe admitted to taking Lucy Harris from Earth, and Bane has been looking for her ever since.

A warrior conflicted . . .

Commander Dray Helvan thinks the Grih made a mistake in not pushing for war with the Tecran, but he’s had to accept the compromise, that he and the other envoys from the United Council will go to Tecra and dismantle its military from the top down. His mission is not one of his choosing, but when he and his team arrive, he’s handed a very different job. While he distrusts Bane on principle, when the thinking system tells him there’s a woman running for her life on the planet below, he will do whatever he has to to see her safe. And if that means war for Tecra, well, then it means war.

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Review of Dark Matters

In Dark Matters, Michelle Diener takes the adventure planetside to Tecra, home of the species that has been out there making trouble. The Tecrans, subverting the law in their part of the galaxy, are the instigators in this series. The rest of the UC (mostly) are the law and some of the good guys.

In previous books in the Class 5 series, the UC has attempted, with a fair amount of success, to quash the Tecran attempts. They have found and freed 3 humans, and 4 Class 5s, while a 5th Class 5 blew itself up. As far as anyone knows, there are no more Class 5s and no more imprisoned sentient beings. Meanwhile, in order to make sure the Tecran military is no longer causing problems, the UC sends a coalition to, effectively, occupy Tecra. This seemed a bit high handed to me at first. Then I thought about the Tecran military and their part in all the trouble. And I sort of agreed that taking control of Tecra from the top down, was needed.

Turns out, this was wise thinking. The Tecran military was hiding the fact that there was another imprisoned Earth woman. Lucy Harris’ escape, early in the book, is the catalyst for all the conflict and action.

Bane is the Class 5 ship that is angry with all Tecrans and would really like some revenge. But first, he will do whatever it takes to save Lucy. Helping Bane search for Lucy, is the Grih commander Dray Helvan. There were several, ‘almost saved’ moments for Lucy, but the Tecran military (and by now, it becomes apparent that this is a renegade portion of the military) always seemed to come between Lucy and her salvation.

The romance between Lucy and Dray was fast and fueled by the heat of the moment. Lucy herself, is a ‘make the most of right now’ type of woman, so I thought the romance aspect of Dark Matters worked well.

I really liked the planetary setting for a change in this series and a look at the Tecran people, most of who were unaware of the military actions. Yet they must put up with the discipline imposed on Tecra. This made for a bit of moral reflection on the part of the occupiers and also, for Bane. If the series continues, I will be interested to see where this goes on the planet Tecra.

Each book in the Class 5 series can be read as a standalone story, so you can start the series at any point. I can recommend all 4 books: Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, Dark Minds and Dark Matters.

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

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