Thursday, January 3, 2019

The MechMen of Canis-9 by Joe Bonadonna

The MechMen of Canis-9 is a sequel to Three Against the Stars, the first of Joe Bonadonna’s fast-paced intergalactic Space Operas. Bonadonna is also the author of the sorcery and magic classics Mad Shadows and Mad Shadows II. I recommend all of these books for fans of the New Pulp Fiction literary movement. In this beautifully written and explosive adventure, Seamus O’Hara, Claudia Akira and Fernando Cortez and a platoon of Marines are deployed to Canis-9. The first section details a defeat the Marines suffered on Viluvia where gunnery sergeant Claudia Akira suffered a wound that rendered her incapable of having children. This is the source of friction between Akira and her husband Cooper Preston. Bonadonna’s superb characterization is handled with swift, deft strokes early on, and he manages to build sympathetic characters with lightning speed. The characterizations are vital because at its heart The MechMen of Canis-9 is still a slam-bang action adventure tale, and with my emotions invested in these characters, I found myself flipping the pages with heated anticipation. Seamus O’Hara and Fernando Cortez round out the marine trio, but they are hardly the only characters. Joe Bonadonna is such a skilled writer that immediately in chapter two readers are introduced to another world and Zherisa Nadiri, who loses her island home of Bhacoba. You’ll soon meet the secondary but still vital characters – Barnes, Falco, Rosie, Betty, colonel Dakota and many more. The character development and world building here is exemplary. Less than thirty pages into the story and you’ll be worried about kaizu, the great sea dragons of Devoora. The search for the seven indestructible robot warriors is complicated by a crash landing in an increasingly hostile environment. The characters and world building don’t slow down, and Joe Bonadonna expertly weaves new characters into the mix, such as Voo-Kangan in chapter ten. There are also many creative flourishes that sometimes manifest themselves in the form of an homage to various elements in the grand tradition of Space Opera and science fiction classics. It’s not necessary to identify them, but certain phrasings and images do lend the action a nostalgic tone, which I think is intentional. This is among the best modern science fiction novels I’ve read in many years, and I rate this highly with the strongest recommendation for fans of speculative fiction. Joe Bonadonna’s incredible imagination works in sync with his talent as a storyteller, and The MechMen of Canis-9 is not a novel to forget. The cover is by the talented Erika M. Szabo and The MechMen of Canis-9 is available now on Amazon. CLICK here to find the book on Amazon!

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