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Andromeda's Choice
William C. Dietz
Titan Books, 352 pages

Andromeda's Choice
William C. Dietz
William C. Dietz has published many science fiction novels. Dietz spent time in the Navy, graduated from the University of Washington, and has been variously employed as a surgical technician, newswriter, college instructor, television director, and public relations manager. He lives in the Seattle area with his family.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Legion of the Damned
SF Site Review: Andromeda's Fall
SF Site Review: By Force of Arms
SF Site Review: Imperial Bounty

A review by Sandra Scholes

This is the follow-up to William C. Dietz's Legion of the Damned series. Andromeda's Fall continued the story of Andromeda McKee who wants vengeance over her family being killed by Ophelia. As she thinks she is the only surviving member until she discovers her uncle Rex, the leader of the resistance who wants the same as her. William C. Dietz hasn't just written a few novels in the Legion of the Damned series, he's written several going up to 2015; The Final Battle, By Blood Alone, By Force of Arms, For More Than Glory, For Those Who Fell, When All Seems Lost, When Duty Calls and A Fighting Chance. He has gone a long way to create a gritty, realistic story where Ophelia doesn't understand that there are those who can get to her from the outside if they want to, and being surrounded by armed men can be a disadvantage if you are her.

Andromeda's Choice, the second in the series, Andromeda McKee (Cat Carletto) has been given the Imperial Order of Merit, and as such she has to come back to Earth if she wants the award. As the story from Andromeda's Fall has already been a very strong one about her life so far and all the crises and horrors in it, this novel builds upon the character development we originally saw. While the first novel had her caught unawares with the death of her family, this novel finds her at her most mature ready to fight for what she believes in, despite all the odds being stacked against her. It is a very subtle irony that Andromeda has to return to Earth to receive her honour, yet by staying away, she is out of the radar of Princess Ophelia, the woman who could destroy her hopes or revenge. This story has many of these hopes she has in her head to fulfil, but whether she can fulfil them all remains to be seen. She is a stubborn woman and a keen warrior who wants to stand by her principles, but as for many like her, her hatred and thirst for blood can get in her way. From when we first saw her in Andromeda's Fall, her reasons for changing her name from Cat Carletto are obvious; as one of the surviving members of her murdered family, she would seem like easy prey to anyone around her ordered by Ophelia to kill her, so even though she was a socialite, she is using her brain by deciding to change it.

Andromeda has grown from the first novel, and continues to grow in this one as well. The most unexpected thing is that no one would have thought that someone like Cat could become such an able Legionnaire worthy of the title of Imperial Order of Merit -- but from the first novel she has learned what it is to be hurt, betrayed and to have something dear to fight for. The title for Andromeda's Choice is just that, over the course of the novel she has to make her choices, some she finds abhorrent, while others she thought would turn out well, did actually turn the opposite and might leave her wishing she had left them well alone. After all, Andromeda is only responding to what Ophelia did to her family, yet her doing so can cause so many other problems. Part of the story has her of two minds as to whether she wants to stay on the battlefield and fight with her men and stay away from Earth for the time being, or go back and be counted, possibly kill Ophelia or be killed by her. As we have come to know by now, Andromeda is far from being a coward after all she has done for the Legion.

Dietz has taken a lady and made her into a fighting machine who mucks in with her fellow fighters in the thick of battle. However, she does have time to reflect on what could have been had she not become this amazing warrior. She has had to escape the assassins who wanted to kill her after killing her family, as well as fight against those who would want to take down the Legion along with her. Andromeda's Choice is full of battles that act as though they are never ending, and after a while we still get to find out more about Andromeda and how she has had to evade being captured for so long. Once readers get into Dietz's story, and characters, they can't get away from the mystery and intrigue they give out, so it's a case of once you read them, be prepared to want to invest in the next set of novels.

Copyright © 2014 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has been reading some of the most extraordinary novels of late and reviewed for Albedo One, Hellnotes, The British Fantasy Society and Love Romance Passion to name a few before Halloween. BTW: Happy Halloween everyone!!

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