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About the Story
Orbiting a barren planetoid in a system full of nothing just past the edge of the frontier, The Last Outpost is just another refueling station. Strategically important, true, but on a routine stop you never expected to spend longer than a couple hours there, let alone a couple of days fighting for your life...
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The starting and setup for this story are more than enough to bring the reader into the story and want to read it. It sounds like a simple routine stop that’s clearly going to be more than routine. The reader is immediately grabbed by the story and they will want to read it simply to find out how. After all, it’s just a simple refueling stop, so what could go wrong? It’s an excellent hook and an invitation to the story.
The setting and writing on the first page set the scene nicely. There are good descriptions and details and enough information to feel like the reader is really in the story here. The only part that was slightly confusing (did you really think that wasn’t going to happen?) was the hero’s job. Maybe I missed it, but at one point Hinsman is keeping me away from the public. Then I’m supposed to protect people, but it’s not clear if it is protecting the public or Hinsman’s people. But also the hero destroyed a cruiser in the course of his job recently, too. But Hinsman has a badge and the hero has worked with a pilot before. But he’s headed to the outer rim for work, whatever that might be.
The arrival at The Last Outpost is fun. Well, maybe not for the hero, but reading the words and descriptions around it work very well. It is almost difficult to step out of the story to write this review because at that point the story is engaging and the reader really wants to stay in the story to find out what’s going on and what happened – and we’re not even in the meat of the story yet! The writing here is similar to that book you start to read just before bed and end up reading way past midnight because you just wanted to find out a little more about what was going to happen next.
There was some nicely woven-in backstory throughout the pages as it led through the story. I was hoping for a few more choices, like when the hero was asked whether they should move on or secure the station, but there wasn’t an option to just run away like a little girl and hide, so I didn’t get to choose to do that.
The story does continue with an excellent plot and tension. There were great options and logical choices throughout the story and often not a clear foreknowledge of which choice should be taken – which was a good thing because it really did create the idea that the reader was in control of the story and could really decide where the story would go. The discussions and dialogue were crisp and detailed – once again the reader is really taken into the story and feels like they are there in the room listening to the stories first-hand.
The story also had a number of twists and turns that were not expected. I could see connections from some of the decisions that I had made early in the story affect things much later in the story. And it really did keep me reading and want to read more in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I also really liked the sub-text and story that was happening in the background with the memories. Could that lead to another story? We can only hope and wait…with the hidden vial…
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