Reviewed by Mike Kraus
In Her Name: Empire is the first novel in Michael R. Hicks In Her Name series. The series now extends to nine novels.
The main character of the novel is a young orphan boy named Reza. Both of Reza’s parents are killed in a desperate battle against the evil alien Kreelans. It seems that the Kreelans have very unique battle tactics that confuse human fighters. Additionally, humans have no information or understanding of the Kreelan culture. During the battle, Reza meets and wounds a Kreelan warrior priestess. The priestess gives Reza an identical wound, and allows him to live.
Reza then is sent to a planet where orphan children are exploited as slave laborers. There he becomes the leader of a group of orphans. He and his fellow orphans struggle against exploitation, and abusive adults. Just about the time they succeed in overcoming the horrible conditions of the planet, the Kreelans attack. The Kreelans kidnap a group of children, including Reza. It seems that the Kreelans are interested in discovering if humans are sentient enough to posses a soul.
Reza is then given to a young Kreelan girl. Her duty is to attempt to train Reza, whom she considers to be an animal. The remainder of the novel is the story of how Reza becomes the only human to understand Kreelan culture.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a real page turner. Hick’s writing style makes the story easy to read and understand. In the Kreelans, Hicks has created an interesting alien culture. In the beginning, the Kreelans appear to be your standard evil aliens. Through Reza’s eyes we discover that the Kreelans have an advanced society with literature, language and philosophy. With each turn of the page, Hicks draws us into the Kreelan’s world. I wanted to read on to find out how Reza survives, and learn more about the Kreelans.
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