Star Marque Rising by Shami Stovall

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The future is governed through a genetic hierarchy—superhumans at the top, humans and defects at the bottom. Welcome to an all-new military science fiction novel from critically-acclaimed author Shami Stovall.

Clevon Demarco, a genetically modified human, has a cocksure attitude and the combat skills to back it up. With his unparalleled skills, he makes his living as a ruthless gunrunner on a shady space station near the edges of the quadrant. Stronger, faster, and wittier than most sad sacks, no one even comes close to Demarco’s abilities—until he crosses paths with the captain of the notorious Star Marque, Endellion Voight.

Captain Voight arrests Demarco and offers him a choice: go to a prison planet for his crimes, or join her starship, the Star Marque, working as mercenaries for the superhumans. But she didn't pick him at random. She has a plan to become a planet governor; a title no human has held since the superhumans won the war. It doesn’t matter the cost—assassinations, extortion, blackmail—she’s determined to claw her way to the top.

All Captain Voight needs is Demarco’s help to carry out her machinations, and she’ll give him everything he’s ever wanted in return.

A fast-paced space opera for those who enjoy Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds, or anything by Robert A. Heinlein.

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Star Marque Rising is a Science Fiction story to sink your teeth into. It is a long book that gives you time to be completely enthralled and entangled with the characters, always giving you an unexpected twist when you least expect it.

Demarco is a genetically modified human, looking for a way out of Capitol Station (which is not the best place to be for anyone!) Going into the ring is his ticket out of there, but things don't quite go his way. He ends up being taken by enforcers, and propositioned by their Captain, and not in the usual way. He ends up agreeing with her, and is taken on as a Starfighter.

So much action, excellently paced, and a bunch of characters you will grow to know... or do you? I have to say Endellion was never my favourite character, and I really hope there is a second book (or maybe more), as I would love to read further into this, and see where Demarco, Sawyer, and the others go from here.

A gripping tale guaranteed to keep your attention. Absolutely recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Shami Stovall grew up in California's central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate. As a child, Stovall enjoyed every portal fantasy, space opera, and magic series she could get her hands on, but the first novel to spark her imagination was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before--and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, especially fantasy series and military science fiction, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world. Everything from sorcerers, to robots, to fantasy wars--she just hopes you enjoy.

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