Title: The Chains of Their Sins (Taking Shield #4)
Author: Anna Butler
Publisher: Glass Hat Press
Release Date: February 13, 2016
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: ~260
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Shield Captain Bennet arrives on the Gyrfalcon to take up his final year’s posting before returning to the Shield Regiment after his rotation out.
On the Gyrfalcon he faces up to the fallout from Makepeace—ethical, political and above all, personal. Will he be able to accept necessity: that knowing what the Maess are up to outweighs the humanitarian issues surrounding the prisoners he rescued from Makepeace? Can he ride out the political furore that follows the loss of the dreadnought Caliban? How will he cope with an entire year of serving under his father, Caeden? And worst of all, how in the name of every god in the Pantheon can he stand to see Flynn every single day, with the Fraternisation Regs standing between them and keeping them apart?
It will be an interesting year. Bennet can hardly wait for it to be over. Of course, things never really do go to plan…
This cannot be read as a stand alone. Please read Gyrfalcon, Heart Scarab and Makepeace first if you haven’t done so already.
When the book left off in Heart Scarab, I noted in my review I was uneasy. Heart Scarab wasn’t quite a cliff hanger, but it had me drumming my fingers on the table going Hmm… When Makepeace started, I was again drumming my fingers on the end of the couch going Hmm, and ended the book with an ARRRrrgghh! The Chains of the Sins had me going Hmm and Arrrghh!
Premise of Chains of Their Sin is Captain Bennet is serving his final year of off-Shield rotation on the Gyrfalcon. He’s viewing this assignment with dread: His father is in upper command, his youngest sister Natalia is in engineering, and Flynn…Flynn is untouchable due to fraternization rules. Bennet works out a detente of sorts with his Father. He comes to some common ground with his sister. Bennet and Flynn agree that they can only be “friends”, that fraternization in the ranks is one rule Bennet won’t break. Somehow, they’ll make it work.
Not long after taking command of the Hornets on the Gyrfalcon, Bennet is called to Shield duty on the planet Boeotia, where Sheild has stashed the rescued civilians from Makepeace. His longtime friend Felix is overseeing the rehabilitation of the “civilians” while conducting studies to see how the Maess have messed with their minds – literally. Bennet doesn’t like the whole situation, feels the set-up is more like a prison and the experiments too similar to what the Maess were doing and they don’t part on good terms. But there is no good alternative and Bennet, angry at what Felix is doing, washes his hands of the whole mess.
While an interesting read (this is a very solid scifi book), The Chains of Their Sins is a transition book. This installment really didn’t have the impact in the story and romance arc that the previous books did. Bennet proposed some horrific theories to the system politicians at Albion and was bombasted for it, there was some resolution between Father and Son, we had some tears at a point I won’t spoil, and, in the end, Flynn and Bennet were no farther along than when we started.
Which is beginning to frustrate the HECK out of me! Come on! Give the two guys a break! Okay – author elicited an emotional response, always a good sign. But still, we’re at book four and starting to get frustrated.
One unresolved issue that kinda niggled at me: Natalia’s behavior toward Bennet and Flynn was unexplained and a bit odd. Perhaps there is more to come in the next book?
Lastly…ARRRRGGHHHH!!!!!! Blast and bother – cliffhanger alert. I have to wait for the next book, dammit. This officially falls under cruel and unusual punishment.
And it’s SO worth it! I love this series – great world building, characters are complex and interesting, scifi is solid. I can’t wait for the next one.