Summary of the novel Godeena
Major Henry Broncon miraculously survives a battle with Ansker soldiers on the planet Morad. He is found under a pile of corpses, the only survivor; his best friend and the whole of his brigade remain in the field of death. Broncon is fully acquitted, receives a medal for bravery and is promoted to the rank of Brigadier, but he cannot forgive himself and he feels responsible for falling into the Ansker trap.
Shortly after, the Anskers are beaten and the war ends. The winning terrestrial colonies receive ownership of a system called Naude, comprised of various planets including Godeena. On the surface of Godeena there is a huge, completely preserved but uninhabited city that scientists have named the Absolute. Analysis of the city reveals no signs of life. A team of scientists is sent to investigate what has happened to the people and animals of Absolute. A few days later the team is attacked and contact with the scientists is lost. The General Staff sends two teams of Special Forces to find out what has happened to the expedition but they also disappear, leaving no trace.
The Commander of the General Staff, General Hensell, is personally involved with the mystery. He requests Brigadier Henry Broncon to gather a unit, composed of the worst inmates from the inescapable prison, Hades, to investigate what is happening on Godeena. Henry accepts this task and collects 17 prisoners, each with unique skills. Among them is Maria, who possesses enormous psychic powers and has a wicked second personality called Kir.
The unusual team of criminals, led by Broncon, travels to Godeena to discover what terrors await them there.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In this military, science fiction adventure, Godeena, Croatian author Stjepan Vareševac-Cobet delves into a world of modified soldiers, and alien monsters in this imaginative sci-fi fantasy adventure.
Brigadier Henry Broncon is sent to gather prisoners from a high security prison to complete a military mission that guarantees certain death to any of those who attempt it. But what’s it matter? Henry is a Cyber and modified with cybernetics. He won’t die. And what of his team? They’re dangerous prisoners who don’t even deserve to live. They’ll not be missed. Without this mission, they were never going to escape their prison sentences anyway.
I did find some sentences and point of view changes a little jarring, which took me out of the story at times, but I appreciate the author is from another country and can write in two languages, which I can’t, so kudos for that. However, it is most likely because of this I also found the sentence structures of the dialogue stilted, and at times felt that some of these dangerous, violent prisoners were talking a little bit too well-to-do sounding for my liking.
That said, the author has a fantastic imagination and managed to write a fully formed adventure surrounding a group of hand-picked, hardened criminals, with no choice than to go on a fatal mission of which there may be no way back. It’s even got a touch of romance, too.
It certainly delivers an imaginative, fast-moving, action-packed story, but needs more polishing. Incidentally, I’ve read some of Vareševac-Cobet’s poetry and I LOVE that. This just wasn’t for me.
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