Through the Hostage

The Cortii series Book 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
344 Pages
Reviewed on 12/18/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I grew up on a yacht, and so the family bookshelves became my favourite source of amusement early on. I flew dragons with Anne McCaffrey's Pern series, tried to move to Narnia, spent most of my teens wanting to become a jockey after reading too much Dick Francis, and scared myself so badly with the Black Riders in Tolkien aged seven that I slept with the light on for six months.

I started writing my own books in school, when a friend asked me why I didn't write down some of the stories I told myself. For me, writing a book is a unique chance to write the story I want to read, to travel into a universe I can create and meet the characters whose experiences keep me obsessively typing in the lunchroom, on the bus, and wake me up at night. I hope you enjoy the stories half as much as I enjoy writing them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite

Through the Hostage by J.C. Steel is a weird mixture of space opera and military science fiction. It worked for me. These are two of my favorite genres. The pace is swift and filled with danger around every corner. This is a world of mystery and violence. I found it very easy to lose myself in it. J.C. Steel has his own unique style of writing. It is both understated and over the top in a combination that will thrill readers who like strong characters with enigmatic personalities. I haven’t seen women portrayed like this since I picked up Dune by Frank Herbert when I was a boy and read about the reverend mothers of the Bene Gesserit. They are strong, smart, intelligent, and determined. What more could you ask for in a female protagonist?

Khyria Ilan is a hero unlike any I have ever come across before. She is a commander in the Cortii, a ruthless mercenary society that is cruel and very determined to retain its fierce reputation as the best of the best. I loved Khyria. Her situation and memory loss gained my sympathy. Her skills and talents won my respect. She is a character to be reckoned with and J.C. Steel drops her into a complex plot worthy of her abilities. There are a lot of strong characters, especially female characters in Through the Hostage and I liked that. The writing is descriptive, and you can submerge yourself in the world and characters. I really liked this book. It made a perfect weekend read and is the beginning of a great series.

Kathryn Bennett

Through the Hostage (The Cortii series Book 1) by JC Steel introduces us to Khyria Ilan, the commander of an elite mercenary group called the Cortii. The Cortii are the most elite mercenaries in all of the known world and space. Khyria has a past that she has no memory of, and a long list of enemies. That means, even within her own organization, she has to face death every day. Her command faces impossible odds and must take the ultimate test in order to survive.

This is a unique and well thought out sci-fi book. The world that has been created within the pages of this book is one of the most original I have read in a long time. You can tell that author JC Steel has put a great deal of work into this creation. Khyria is a well fleshed out character and one that I felt a connection with, which doesn't often happen for me with sci-fi books. She is a strong character who keeps getting the bad hands dealt to her in life. I can hardly imagine having to struggle to live, playing a game that could end in death, on top of knowing nothing about your past. The more I read, the more engrossed in this thrilling story I became. It is more than just an alien world inside these pages. If you want a science fiction read that digs deep and goes beyond the surface, this is going to be the book for you. I highly recommend it.

Sefina Hawke

Through the Hostage (The Cortii series Book 1) by JC Steel is a science fiction story that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy science fiction stories that feature amnesia and mercenaries and who do not mind violence, language, and non-graphic sexual scenes. Khyria Ilan has a blank space in her mind where her past should be, yet she does not let her lack of memories affect her ability to be a commander in the most elite mercenary organization in known space. Khyria Ilan might be a commander in the Cortii, but her life is far from perfect as many of the other commanders would like nothing better than to have her dead at their feet. Does Khyria Ilan have what it takes to beat the odds and survive when so many would see her fail?

Through the Hostage (The Cortii series Book 1) by JC Steel is a well written book with a very enticing cover image that I instantly found interesting as soon as I saw it. I wanted to know if the figure on the cover was some sort of alien creature or an armored figure. As I began reading this book, I found myself quickly pulled into the plot. I felt a need to learn about who Khyria Ilan really was and what had happened in her past. The plot, the characters, and the settings reminded me a bit of the Mass Effect video games, but after reading this book I really wish the video games had been based on this book instead as I would have loved to be Khyria Ilan. When I finished Through the Hostage, I was left with a deep desire to immediately begin reading the second book in the series because I was left with so many unanswered questions and many new questions.

Rabia Tanveer

Through the Hostage: The Cortii Series Book 1 by J.C. Steel is a science fiction tale unlike any other I have ever read. I am not a big science fiction reader; in fact, I perhaps read one or two science fiction books a year and only if it comes highly recommended. So you can imagine my surprise when I picked this book up and enjoyed it immensely. The mystery, the suspense and the action were very well executed and the author did a wonderful job at creating well developed and powerful characters that actually added to the story.

This is the story of Khyria, the commander of the Cortii, an elite team of mercenaries. Khyria is brilliant at her job and she knows that she is good, but there is one issue with her. She has no memory of her past, which makes her an easy target for her enemies. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot remember what happened in her past and now she has no idea who is actually her friend and who is a foe. Her enemies are everywhere, even in her own organization. She has to face the odds every day and try to survive as best as she can. But how far can she run before her enemies catch up to her?

What I really loved about this exceptionally well-written novel was the character development. When I started reading the novel, I found Khyria to be an extremely strong character and thought she would not develop any further throughout the novel. I was surprised to find that she developed to become humble, determined, and learned her self-importance. She learnt to trust herself and that was her biggest achievement. As for the plot, the flow was brilliant, the pace was fast and the writing style was amazing. I loved it and can’t wait to read the second part in the series.


I couldn't put this book down.Not only is "Through the Hostage" a cracking good read, it has a thought provoking depth unusual in run of the mill sci-fi literature.In Corina J. C. Steel has brilliantly brought to life a terrible and brutal world.With their imposed religion, philosophy, violence and brain-washing techniques, the wealthy and all-powerful rulers create an unbeatable fighting force for hire throughtout the galaxy.But...with Khyria Ilan, leader of her Cortia, the Magaii may have created someone far more powerful than they realise.The author is so skilful in making her characters believable we become totally involved in their violent world, and want passionately for them to survive and beat the system.Roll on the next instalment!