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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
"Remnant" consists of 3 stories, each of which could be titled "Remnant". The first, and the longest, story was 'All the Fallen Angels', a futuristic glimpse of a vacation resort planet, renowned for the innate sense of euphoria experienced by all who visit it. However, the permanent residents of the planet became overwhelmed and disenchanted with the constant euphoria, requiring the Navy to intercede and quell rebellion. The Colonel in charge went a bit overboard, and was convicted of war crimes. Given a choice between death or submitting to experimentation, he chose the latter, never guessing how brutal that would be. Therein lies the story, which alternates between the present time and various periods of flashbacks. The second story was 'Enemy, I Know You Not', which again involved military intervention to quell rebellions, but on many planets, as needed. After a particularly deadly intervention, new recruits were installed to replace the casualties. The entire platoon then entered into a computer simulated training battle - basically a very interactive video game - in which all the senses are involved; when a "sim" gets shot, the actual soldier feels the pain. If killed in the simulation, they merely wake up and remove the game-activating helmet. But a computer glitch traps the platoon in the game, and fatalities in the simulation result in actual deaths of the soldiers. Story three is 'Remnant' in which a global plague kills virtually the entire planet Earth, leaving only 1 in 50,000 to carry on as a remnant population. It focuses on one man who needed to come to terms with the loss of his family, while he, though unworthy, survived.
This entire book was very well-written. The characters were well-developed and seemed like real people. It would be very difficult to read this without feeling a great deal of empathy for the characters. You will smile when good things happen to them, and feel their anxiety when bad things happen. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough; reading it will be an exceptional experience.