I’ve been reading the last in the trilogy of Cassandra Kresnov novels by Australian author Joel Shepherd and I’ve been very impressed. Following on from Crossover and Breakaway, Killswitch is set on the planet of Callay. In the peace after a war with the android-creating League, the more conservative Federation government has recently transferred its powers from Earth. The lead character is one of the androids, Cassandra Kresnov, a super-intelligent, super strong version of the more limited grunts used in the war. In the first book, Crossover she defects and moves to Callay, creating a huge political standoff between many different factions.
Shepherd writes a clever, multi-dimensional tale of artificial humans. It’s reminiscent of the great work done with the Cylon characters in the new Battlestar Galactica but impressively these books were first published in Australia before that TV series saw the light of day. The worldwide publication of the trilogy is richly deserved. As well as some gritty, dynamic action sequences and rich political worldbuilding, the characterization of Cassandra is spot-on. I’d recommend a lot of people pick up these books. You can read my review of Killswitch in this month’s SFCrowsnest.