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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Bleak: The First Mission by Ian Martyn is a novelette prequel to the author’s book Bleak: The Story of a Shapeshifter. Bleak is a manipulant human clone. His kind is considered an abomination, but the Confederation never hesitates to exploit their useful abilities. The rebels have spies in the ranks, and the Confederation retaliates. Bleak shapeshifts into Major Oldroyd, a rebel spy who worked undetected as General Niias' staff before. This is Bleak’s first mission.
The shapeshifter Bleak is a fascinating character. He believes that he would be accepted among humans and would be given a place in society. Unfortunately, his kind is not easily accepted and perhaps will never be. Martyn pitched a fascinating premise for this sci-fi drama. The ethical issues that are interlaced into the storyline are thought provoking. Martyn also demonstrates his flair for characterization and dialogue. I enjoyed this fast read that introduces Bleak’s fascinating but dangerous world of espionage. This comes highly recommended as an exhilarating opening to Martyn’s full length novel of the Bleak series.