Set in the 29th century in a distant part of the galaxy, the Consortium controls the human colonies held together by the jump gates. Where the Consortium doesn’t hold sway, crime flourishes. Using a hellish engine that goes where no one should, the crew of the Matilda slips its way between the two.
CAPTAIN JACQUIE DELAHAYE (smuggler) and the Matilda crew sneak onto a prison ship and break out ANTON ROANE (ex-freedom fighter). He forces them to take along the genorg (genetic organism) war criminal, GALENA CHADOV.
Unbeknownst to them, the creator of the genorgs, DOCTOR WYETH wants to reclaim Galena. After run-ins with bounty hunters and a black-ops team they use the hellish engine to escape into the ‘other space’. Rumors say the gangster, MR. LEON put a price on their heads. The crew sneak into his base and confront him. Mr. Leon hires them to deliver weapons directly to the military.
Barely escaping the creatures in ‘other space’ the Matilda delivers the weapons to the Consortium military. A battle wages against the aliens from the ‘other space’ and the military has a last-ditch plan to break their hold. Galena takes the mission.
While Galena destroys the alien ship, Jacquie rescues the trapped soldiers before the planet is vaporized. Doctor Wyeth’s ship tracks the Matilda to the battle and attacks the freighter. Jacquie and the crew of the Matilda narrowly escape.
Plot: The ambitious plot would be better served with focusing on prioritizing elements and evening the pace. Without a central character to anchor it, the narrative leaves the reader ricocheting from one spot to the next, diluting what has the potential to be a sweeping science fiction epic.
Prose/Style: Sparse descriptors and a hurried prose leave little in the way of foundation for the reader to build upon, be it the characters or set pieces, while an unfocused structure may have readers struggling to identify the narrative's driving force.
Originality: Some intriguing worldbuilding and a well-thought-out backstory keeps The Matilda otherwise afloat in a sea of genre staples that will be familiar to avid readers of the genre.
Character Development/Execution: Expository backstory and rushed characterizations rob the crew of The Matilda of staying power or organic cohesion, and will leave most readers struggling to connect with what otherwise has the potential to be a diverse and colorful cast.
Date Submitted: May 21, 2021