Up until this point most of my Recommended Reads have been written by self-published authors I have come into contact with through blogging or social media, but Contract of Defiance was a little different. It was recommended by Mike Fedison on his Eye Dancers blog and what caught my attention was that Mike spoke of how supportive Tammy had been when he had started blogging. She sounded like just the sort of person deserving the pay it forward treatment and I’m very glad I decided to buy her book.
Contract of Defiance is a blast from the opening paragraph to the closing page. We follow the story of Aly, a smuggler and ex-military fugitive who becomes separated from her brother and crew on a botched job. She is rescued by a group of hardened settlers and becomes embroiled in a series of adventures that take her further from her goal of rescuing her brother and at the same time raises questions about what really went wrong.
Salyer has created a very believable future where a dominant military forces good people onto the wrong side of the law. While the story contains plenty of action to keep things going, it is the characters that draw you in. In Aly you have a strong, female protagonist who is no caricature. She is flawed, makes mistakes but continues to struggle against what life throws at her in order to save her brother.
As the motivations of the support cast are revealed, you realise what a fantastic job Salyer has done to create an ensemble of characters of real depth while at no point slowing the plot through overuse of backstory or exposition. Another thing I really liked about this book was that each act of killing has an impact on the characters involved and isn’t purely there as entertainment. There are consequences for each and every action and Salyer isn’t afraid to show them.
If you like the fantasy of Joe Abercrombie or Glen Cook, or if you are a fan of the film Aliens, you will love this really enjoyable book. Highly recommended.
Recommended reads are independently published books that I have bought and enjoyed. They are part of a commitment to ‘pay it forward’ to other independent authors by buying their work and promoting those that I have enjoyed, both here and on Amazon and Goodreads. I don’t accept submissions but instead focus on people who have helped or inspired me through their blogging or who actively support other writers, but I only recommend those books I have personally enjoyed. If you are an independent author I would encourage you to do the same and help pay it forward to the community. For more information please see my blog post here.