By Michael Mammay
Author’s website: www.michaelmammay.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
A missing scientist and deep pockets pull Colonel Carl Butler out of retirement, investigating another mystery that puts him and his team–and the future of relations with alien species–in danger in COLONYSIDE, the exciting follow-up to Planetside and Spaceside.
A military hero is coming out of disgrace—straight into the line of fire…
Carl Butler was once a decorated colonel. Now he’s a disgraced recluse, hoping to live out the rest of his life on a backwater planet where no one cares about his “crimes” and everyone leaves him alone.
It’s never that easy.
A CEO’s daughter has gone missing and he thinks Butler is the only one who can find her. The government is only too happy to appease him. Butler isn’t so sure, but he knows the pain of losing a daughter, so he reluctantly signs on. Soon he’s on a military ship heading for a newly-formed colony where the dangerous jungle lurks just outside the domes where settlers live.
Paired with Mac, Ganos, and a government-assigned aide named Fader, Butler dives head-first into what should be an open and shut case. Then someone tries to blow him up. Faced with an incompetent local governor, a hamstrung military, and corporations playing fast and loose with the laws, Butler finds himself in familiar territory. He’s got nobody to trust but himself, but that’s where he works best. He’ll fight to get to the bottom of the mystery, but this time, he might not live to solve it.
I liked Colonyside! The futuristics stories about finding new planets and their inhabitants is always an interesting read for me. This time, Colonyside takes us to the planet of Eccasis where humans are trying to colonize the planet but the fauna and flora there has been difficult to get rid of since the Butler law was created. Many private companies have opened offices in the domes created on the planet trying to win contracts and extend the size of the colony, among these companies is Caliber.
While trying to live the rest of his life in solitude and pace, Veteran Carl Butler, is asked to come out of retirement and look for the missing daughter of the CEO of Caliber, Xyla. At first, he hesitates, but they know what buttons to press and he agrees to the search. Butler asks for his friend Mac, a security officer, and for hacker, Ganos, to help him uncover information others don’t want to be found.
At first everyone believes that Xyla died in an expedition outside the domes while studying the animals of Eccasis to try to find a way to move them in order to expand. But something went wrong, appearing to be attacked by the animals. No bodies were found, but her father doesn’t believe that’s what happened and thinks somebody is trying to cover up her disappearance. Once Butler and his team arrive at Eccasis his gut feeling tells him that somebody is lying, and something is going on with the colony.
I liked the character of Carl Butler with his interesting past. He is hated and loved by many for what some believe to be the genocide of an alien planet. This event caused a lot of outcry to the point that the government created the Butler Law that makes it harder for private companies to colonize new planets protecting its flora and fauna. While he has military skills, he is new to the detective work and is trying to puzzle out what happened to Xyla. Because of this, he is not always careful with his decisions and that makes the story more entertaining for the reader.
I always like the imagination that goes into creating planets in science fiction stories and with Colonyside the different planets that are mentioned and seen were fascinating for me. I liked the creatures that attacked the outside of the colony and the experiments conducted to move them from the expanding zones.
In Butler’s team we also meet Captain Monique Fabar, who is sent to help him be a liaison with the military presence of Eccasis. She is a professional soldier that wants to learn from Butler. Colonyside also presents us with other interesting characters, such as the Governor of Eccasis, who is more of a puppet than an actual figure of power. General Oxendine who oversees the security of the colony, and Martha Stroud who is the head of Caliber in Eccasis.
As a mystery genre story, Colonyside takes the reader through a mysterious colony where everyone seems to be hiding something, and zealots of many different groups that believe in their own ideals who will kill anyone trying to stop them. I was very surprised with the outcome of the story.
While Colonyside is the third book in the Planetside series, I feel it can be read as a standalone book. The book mentions some of the past history through characters and their actions which makes the narrative understandable. But it still made me want to read the previous books and learn more about Butler’s past.
If you like futuristic and mystery science fiction stories, then I recommend you Colonyside.