Fighting Shadows

Survival has its costs (The Cortii series Book 2)

Fiction - Science Fiction
326 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic, I’m a writer, martial artist and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found halfway to the further galaxy.

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Fighting Shadows: Survival Has its Costs is the second book in the Cortii series by JC Steel, an absorbing sci-fi read that will enthrall fans of the genre. The scientific elements of the story come out clearly from the very first line when the “mellifluous voice of the computer” informs Khyria Ilan, the Cortiora, that she has one hundred and sixty-seven communications waiting. From this moment on, the reader is pulled into a whirlwind of action, intense and exhilarating. Meet the group of mercenaries called the Cortii, a powerful group that offers unique services to those who can afford them, mostly governments and powerful organizations, a shady group whose reach extends to all galaxies and no single government or organization can destroy it. Now be ready for one-of-a-kind ride as conflicts escalate and unexpected twists get introduced into a tale involving compelling characters, intrigue and manipulation of the finest kind.

In clear and powerful prose and with a narrative voice that is as hypnotic as it is enjoyable, JC Steel weaves a story that will appeal to readers with different tastes, introducing unique elements of sci-fi and fiction. The story features powerful passages that allow readers to journey into the inner workings of the minds of the characters. The conflict is well-developed and it drives the plot strongly. There are insightful and intelligently written passages and conversations between the characters. JC Steel has a gift for plot and character and combines this gift with humor to create characters and scenes that are delightful to read. Fighting Shadows is a work of great imagination with vivid settings, a fast-paced plot, and memorable characters.

Sefina Hawke

Fighting Shadows by JC Steel is the second book in the science fiction Cortii series. This is a book that would appeal most to an audience of adults and young adults who enjoy science fiction fantasy, as well as those who have enjoyed the first book in the Cortii series. Fighting Shadows takes place after the events of Through the Hostage: When survival is all that matters. The Cortii are mercenaries that have existed and grown since humanoid pre-history; since then they have spread throughout and colonized every single known galaxy and all governments utilize them. Yet, the Cortii are strong and many and no single government possesses the strength needed to end them. Khyria Ilan might be considered the Cortii commander, but does she have the strength to both lead and survive?

Fighting Shadows by JC Steel has an interesting cover that intrigued me without giving away any of the plot. Khyria Ilan is a very interesting character as she seems to have a great amount of strength and yet she seems to hide it from others. I did find her character confusing at the beginning, as I had not read the previous book in the series; however, that did not stop me from quickly catching up and enjoying her as a character. This was one of those reads that as soon as I thought I understood where the plot was going, I ran right into a twist or turn that turned my prediction upside down. I loved the unpredictability of both Khyria Ilan and the plot line itself. I plan to go back and read the first book in the series before checking out the third book!

Deepak Menon

Fighting Shadows by JC Steel is a thrilling, action packed novel set in the future, encompassing a tale of wide ranging emotions and extraordinary abilities, weaving science fiction, fantasy and extrasensory perception together. The book starts with a scene in a futuristic world, where a computer addresses Khyria Ilan, the Cortiora (lady commander) of a contingent of alien mercenaries, named ‘Wildcat Cortii,’ and informs her of many pending communications. Khyria summons Taiva Zarlan, a full battle-ready soldier known as a ‘Derian,' and offers her a hot stimulant known as ‘Faran’ to help her to relax and activate her kinetic abilities. Zarlan soon zips through the documents, one of which she gives to her commander to take action on. At this stage, the story takes off like a rocket and the reader gets a glimpse of what is being offered in this outstanding tale, of how the Councils, the overlords and commanders of the Cortii, are bent on exterminating the Wildcat Cortii, leaving its very survival at stake. In just the first few pages of the book, the author’s powerful narrative style has told all this and more, including battles, deep insights into complex situations and emotions, and introduced many other startlingly original, yet believable protagonists with enhanced abilities as well. The story weaves through a web of intrigue and political subterfuge. Interspersed are life threatening dangers and events, finally leading the Wildcat Cortii to a different planet, where everything changes to the extent that there is explosive emotion as well as action and battle scenes one after another.

The well-conceived and designed cover by Joshua Jadon is like a window opening into a futuristic vista set in space. JC Steel has a fluid style, being able to change not only the pace, but even the settings as well as the level of adrenaline, heightening action to seamlessly flow from one scene to the other, leaving the reader gasping for more thrills. The main protagonist, Khyria Ilan, a Cortii, is unforgettable and, as the story goes on, she reveals extraordinary mental as well as physical powers which enable her to exhibit the entire range of extrasensory perceptions and abilities, right from telepathy, telempathy, telekinesis and others where the story demands. Among many others, some memorable characters are Senja, Cortiora As’ra’tan, Anst, and Ashan Maklin (Maklin of the Blue), Cortiora Zebrani, (sometime ally, sometime lover, an assassination specialist with a list of kills to his name). A memorable quote from the book is: “Underestimating other people can get you killed, but underestimating yourself is likely to take a lot of other people with you.” So, enough said without spoilers. Very well written novel with original settings and a plot encompassing a wide range of emotion, both human and otherworldly - excellent flow and cohesion. All I will recommend here is to dive into this 5 star tale and drown in it like no other!