Summary

Captain Jessie Cinders faces a hazardous choice. The murderer of the governor's nephew stands before him. But, the frightened teenager, Aurelia Garmenti, doesn't resemble the commandant's description of the vicious, hardened killer his security forces seek.
To complicate matters, Jessie's mind has felt Aurelia's mental powers. The girl is an empath, who escaped the domes below and rode the El car to reach the JOS, Pyre's orbital station. This shouldn't be possible. The century-old agreement between topsiders and downsiders forbids the domes to knowingly admit empaths.
If Jessie decides to protect Aurelia until he can discover the truth of the accusations against her, he risks his company and ships to the commandant's wrath, if his actions are uncovered. In the midst of Jessie's complicated maneuvers to keep Aurelia safe, he receives a call from one of his mining captains and learns of a strange find on Pyre's far moon, Triton.
Meanwhile, the domes' governor, Markos Andropov, is desperate to apprehend Aurelia and return her downside, before the girl can reveal his sordid secret. Aurelia lived her entire life imprisoned in the governor's house with her sister and her mother, whom Markos kidnapped from the JOS 17 years ago. If the governor's crimes became public, it would jeopardize the Andropov dynasty's rule of the domes.
Pyrean factions engage in a struggle against one another to possess Aurelia and use her to gain the upper hand. The ultimate prize is the complete domination of Pyre.
©2017 S. H. Jucha (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic reviews

"I really liked both the characters, the action and the world that was being built." ( Mixed Book Bag)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Larry on 11-04-18

Well, a good beginning, and well conceived.<br />

Just not yet a five. Eagerly I wait to see. Promising, yes lets see what happens.


A question, about empathy...
When/where does common empathy become something more, no longer but a disability for an empathetic person . This story takes a few steps beyond "Empaths" a number of steps beyond to expand empathy into a powerful advantage. What if feelings, one's sensitivity, once felt can be amplified, and boomeranged not just out, but with training be focused on one or more others, persons , what's more so amplified as to drive the flight impulse to loose rational control over self preservation. Eg. Scared to death by running off a cliff, onto the freeway. This is beyond the loss of bladder control / poop your pants. I've been there in Nam. That body effect is not a cowardly response to to fear, it's how we are. Courage is what action comes next. Freeze up, fight or flight. How training helps... when your mind freezes in terror, training is what gives the body a memory to fall back on. One has reflexes.
If you are a soldier there is something our ancestors learned. If you flee your brother who need you to be there will die without you beside them. What's more when facing an armed foe; to flee is to be shot down. Your rifle is your life, when you fight /kill, that is the enemy who won't kill your buddy, and you next.
This "to be continued" novel hasn't addressed these issues. So far, "Empaths" has relied on leadership but wiser, and a shade smarter than the "bad guys," or we the reader/listeners.
commonly our shes are encouraged to flee calling for help. Guys are indoctrinated along other expectations. Except in war freeze, or flee may be a wiser choice than facing your fear for a fight. It's prevail, or get squashed, violated, or whatever it was wiser to face, and god help any male who screams, or crys for any aid. Face it, accept what comes may protect him later. Victomisers hate courage, avoid those with it.
I'm eager to have these things addressed as the story unfolds.
I eagerly await the dropping of the next shoe.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Bob on 12-07-18

Simple and Easy Read ... Good Read

Usually not my 1st choice But I found the simplicity of this first book enjoyable and a draw to my basic Sci-fi pleasures. Good length and no drag out along the way. Will read Book 2.

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