Review: The Renegade Akseli Cyborg by Dianne Duvall

Posted January 29, 2024 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, SciFi / 0 Comments

Review:  The Renegade Akseli Cyborg by Dianne DuvallThe Renegade Akseli Cyborg (Aldebarian Alliance #5) by Dianne Duvall
five-stars
Series: Aldebarian Alliance #5
Published by Dianne Duvall on January 23rd 2024
Genres: SciFi
Format: eBook
Source: Author
amazon b-n
Goodreads

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Dive into the next thrilling novel in New York Times bestselling author Dianne Duvall’s fast-paced, humorous, and adventure-filled Aldebarian Alliance series.Too many years of hunting psychotic vampires night after night have left Rachel with a desperate need for change. So when the opportunity to travel across the galaxy aboard a Lasaran warship to a utopian planet arises, the powerful Immortal Guardian jumps at the chance. Rachel eagerly looks forward to making a fresh start… until an enemy attacks and she ends up alone in an escape pod so far from alliance-occupied space that no one can hear her communications. No one except a renegade cyborg who shouldn’t exist.
After a grueling, hard-fought rebellion, Wonick and his cyborg brethren settled on a distant planet, where they’ve finally carved out a peaceful existence. The Aldebarian Alliance believes every Akseli cyborg died long ago. And battle-weary cyborg leader Wonick is determined to prevent anyone from discovering otherwise, knowing such would spark the fiercest manhunt in the galaxy. Yet when he hears Rachel’s communications, temptation drives him to speak to her, sparking friendship and a longing for a very different future.
Rachel finds Wonick even more appealing when she meets him in person, and the friendship they’ve formed soon deepens into love as the cyborgs—no more immune to her fun-loving, laughter-inducing nature than Wonick—cautiously welcome her into the fold. But the warriors’ unbridled ability to collect intel uncovers a secret the enemy has guarded for decades, one that compels them to embark upon a mission fraught with danger.
If they succeed, they may end the enemy’s attempts to conquer the galaxy once and for all.
If they fail, it could cost Wonick and Rachel This is a fast-paced science-fiction adventure packed with romance, edge-of-your-seat action, laughter-inducing humor, lovable secondary characters, and a HEA ending.


 

Each time I pick up a Dianne Duvall novel I think that there is no way to beat the fun and excitement of that last novel, but each story is determined to outshine that last with more laughs and bigger thrills.

When Immortal Guardian Rachel left Earth and boarded the Lasaran space ship, the Kandovar, she dreamed of hanging up her katanas–no longer needed to battle rabid vampires night after night. As they traveled, Rachel was busy trying to decide what she would with her new life filled with peace. After the Kandovar was attacked while traveling through the qhov’rum, Rachel got her mortal charges safely to the escape pods before finding one herself. The next thing she knew she was flying aimlessly through space without a space ship or habitable planet within her travel distance. With no other choice, she headed toward the closest uninhabited planet hoping she could at least wait out a rescue.

Rachel believes that the planet she is headed toward is uninhabitable but that is simply what the cyborgs want the universe to believe. The cyborgs are on the galaxy’s most wanted list, since Chancellor Astennuh, the Askseli leader/dictator, wants his failed experiments destroyed once they refused his orders. After being “created” for war, all these men want now is some peace and to be left alone on their planet far from the Aldebarian Alliance, who didn’t stand up for them when they were being hunted.

Wonick hears Rachel’s broadcasts hoping for rescue but all outsiders are banned from their planet. Even when a Gathendien ship is honing in on Rachel’s escape pod, the cyborg’s can’t agree on whether to let Rachel land or to spare her being captured by the Gathendiens by crashing her pod onto a nearby moon.

Unbeknownst to his brothers-in-arms, Wonick has been speaking with Rachel and helps her to land on their planet, even convincing some of his brothers to help fight the Gathendiens. Wonick didn’t think anything could surprise him until he finds that Rachel isn’t the helpless Earthling he expected to find and she quickly earns the respect of the Cyborgs.

While Rachel hoped to find peace in this new universe, there it one battle left before she can retire her katanas and she really hopes she can survive to set down roots with her new love and his Cyborg brethren.

THOUGHTS:
I expected to just enjoy my new Dianne Duvall novel as always but I have to admit two things. First, we think “How cool are these sword-wielding Immortal Guardians, fighting and destroying the vampires. Isn’t that the best job?” but Rachel’s desire to lay down her blades and maybe learn engineering, really had me thinking what would it be like having to go out night-after-night killing for thousand years. They might be rabid vampires, but there were just regular people, likely turned against their will.  I guess that must wear your down eventually.  In the Immortal Guardian series, we have a lot of newly turned Immortals and their love interests that are rejuvenated by their newly turned wives and girlfriends.  They seem happy to go out hand-in-hand and protect the unwitting mortals from the vampires. But through Rachel’s eyes, we see how draining centuries of these nightly battles can become.

The same can be said for the cyborgs who were simply soldiers who volunteered for this new program, most who did it for the big bonus to help their families, and ended up lied to and tortured with painful  surgeries augmenting and changing their bodies. Then they are treated by their own leaders as if those augmentations made them true machines and took away their humanity. They were forced into front-line battles upon battles until they were finally given orders which they morally refused and were then hunted by their own people to be decommissioned. They too fled to find a measure of peace for themselves. All this just reflects that maybe being able to kick-ass all the time, isn’t all that we imagine it to be.

The second thing I must confess is that while I was enjoying Rachel, Wonick and the cyborg’s story, I was just thinking their time in this quiet paradise wasn’t as exciting as Simone’s story (The Akseli), and almost immediately after that thought Rachel declares her intentions to start her own war against the Gathendien’s. Rachel might not have battled a Dotharian in a pit like Simone (think Luke Skywalker fighting the Rancor), but Simone apparently threw down the gauntlet with her infiltration of the Gathendien secret base and Rachel picks it up and doubles down–even leaving the battle hardened cyborg’s sitting there with the mouths hanging open with her declaration. So never judge a story until it is finished.

So far I have enjoyed the audiobook versions of the Aldebarian Alliance but this time they were not simultaneously released.  Happily, I did still hear it in my head as if it were narrated by Kirsten Potter anyway.

I love Dianne’s Immortal Guardian series, but these Immortal Guardians in space are just so much fun I don’t know Dianne can go back to writing about boring old Earth vampires.


Favorite Scene:

“What’s wrong?” Rachel asked.

“The Gatheniens are about to discover the team we sent to weld the dropship’s bay doors closed and keep them from launching any smaller craft.”

All the cyborgs readied their O-rifles.

“Will having the Gathendiens look in this direction help?” she asked before they could move forward.

“Yes.”

Tucking two fingers between her lips, Rachel let out an ear-piercing whistle that echoed through the forest.

Wonick winced.

All animal and insect sounds ceased.

Tilting her head back, Rachel bellowed up to the sky, “Is that all you’ve got? Twenty puny soldiers and two tame sedapas? Come and get me, you wankers!” A smile toyed with the edges of her lips, Rachel studied him. “What’s happening now?”

Wonick sent the cyborg comm chatter to his gauntlet and swiftly programmed it to transfer the cyborgs’ thoughts into speech.

“Hold position, Unit Four,” Benwa murmured.

“What do you see?” Hoshaan asked softly.

“The warriors have returned to the base of the ramp and are clustered together, gesturing toward the forest.”

Rachel again tilted her head back and belted out, “I’m waaaai–ting!”

Wonick arched a brow. “Do you have a plan beyond getting their attention?”

She drew one of her swords. “Yes. The plan is one, lure them here. Then two, kick their asses.”

Multiple chuckles carried over the comm.

“Sounds like one of your plans, Savaas,” someone muttered.

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