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The Starshatter Series by Black Knight

bobdubJun 25, 2019, 6:52:27 AM

A story of Heroes, on a mission to bring justice to the World, which, in this case, is Fringe Space, an alternate reality in a cruel, violent, yet hopeful Multiverse. This is ONE BIG DEAL! Against the back drop of the sparsely inhabited and unforgiving planets in this corner of space, the fast-paced action-packed fight sequences roll the story forward as the #CrewOfTheStarshatter encounter swathes of Coalition forces (bad guys), the Unlife and spirits of evil, bounty hunters, cannibals, just to name a few. The rich array of alien life forms and their respective cultural backgrounds, described in resplendent detail by the Black Knight, dart in and around throughout his narrative, constantly supplying nuance, context, morality, hope, and reverence for Life. The protagonists face their enemies with enthusiasm and commitment - to do otherwise could easily lead to their own doom:

“... It looked like (Alric’s) hands were burning, as the never-ending hurricane of railgun projectiles howled towards (his enemy), ripping through armor, flesh and bone.”

Just a quick read of each book is not enough for me to become fully cognizant of the intricate array of alliances, allegiances, and animosities, throughout the brutal and bloody conflicts that exist in this Reality. The fascination I have with these magnificent characters has me dipping back into the books over and over to remind myself of some subtle plot twist, or vital sentence, that I may have missed. For instance, do you know what the bot was dreaming of when Kera and Dozan encountered it in Book 3? It is important.

These heroes, who have me engrossed, are a band of warriors, each on their own separate trajectories, who have been brought together at the whim of a single charismatic alien, Anit’za of the Dzent’a. This remarkable and charismatic gentleman has escaped the planet Wuppak on an unknown Quest. His cultural obligations soured, and the monotony of dzenta’rii gynocentric elitism became intolerable, on the day he found out, from his best friend, and butler, Jovos the uplifted Android client, that he was down to the last bottle of his favorite wine. He walked away and embarked, much to his family’s distress, upon a life of rebellion and thrills, in pursuit of another such vintage as the one he had recently imbibed. Life would not be worth living without fine wine. With the genius of all great leaders, Anit’za guides, educates, feeds and nurtures his crew as he strategically melds the ragtag bunch of rebels into a precision fighting Unit. They become the infamous “Crew of the #Starshatter”, loved by their friends, hated by their enemies, the passionate Warriors for Good, doggedly confronting evil wherever they find it. Throughout their countless battles the combatants grow individually and as a Unit. There are realizations to be had, tears to be shed, and lives to be given for their friends and their cause. Within their tribulations they are revived, restored, rebuilt, forgiven, loved.

The fighting men and women - and clients - of the Starshatter are consistently out-manned by the enemy’s cloned soldiers. These hapless drones are used as cannon fodder in the deadly game of Power and Control, in an alternative reality in which women occupy the Number One position in their cultural Power Hierarchy. Ironically, in this reality, where the female, the giver of life, wields a toxic power over the male, the protector of life, the dysfunction that arises is the metaphorical and literal specter of child sacrifice. Life is not valued by such as these, who control both the giving and the taking of life. The destroyers of children must be one of the vilest of Lifeforms of the Galactic Alliance. The (predominantly Terran) heroes suffer bitterly at the hands of these contemptible enemy, to the edge of Death itself, but they are not out-witted. They keep on pushing forward no matter the resistance they face. Keeping up with them is not an easy feat, as they are motivated by fierce sense of justice and the righteousness of their Quest.

Who exactly are these indomitable crusaders? The Black Knight introduces each member of the Starshatter crew in loving detail. Central to the narrative are the uplifted creatures of Terra, Cat the Gorilla client with cybernetic arm augmenting her natural tenacity, Lilly the Bunny client with PTSD and the heart of a lion, and Awesome, the Hamster client singing pop songs as he shoots baddies out of the sky… Then there is Mack the ‘sanctioned criminal’ sucking on whiskey lollipop. And Dozan’Re of the ancient Tiger-like beings, the Kil'ra. Descendant of the Asgard, Brynjar, mecha pilot and expert boxer.

There is a telepath, Boris the angry Smiter with his wife, Kera the Star Witch, without whom he would explode. Quite literally. He would lose control over the screaming spirits that rage within him and the psychic energy released would wipe many planets out of Fringe Space. Boris and Kera are not the only couple aboard the Starshatter. Superhero warrior duo, Star Marine Alric von Englebert and his spacer wife, Vasilisa are the perfect couple in every way. These two literally have each other’s backs. In the magnificently choreographed battle of Pion Base the Knight describes how:

“Blade and guns acted in complete harmony, their body movements flowing together like water, always one after the other they moved, never competing. Step closer and aside, an all severing sword swing, multiple head shots, then jumps, kicks and punches to their enemies’ faceplates. In the deadly chaos of melee, the man and woman represented an unconquerable harmony. A unity that brought death to all those who wished to do harm upon them. Both had surrendered completely to each other where every breath, thought, movement, and action belonged not to themselves, but to one another.”

Not to mention the character who is not a character, Alice, an exceptional computer entity, and the dog with a man’s brain…. Oh! And Snark.

Fascinating stuff!

One thing is sure, these guys will not stop. They will not surrender. They WILL persevere. Again, and again, and again, they retreat, regroup, and return to the fight. Standing up for the basic right of the individual to be respected as a unique and valued creation. It is a dangerous job, but someone has to do it. And they do…

“…it was glorious! A group of space hamsters were assaulting (the enemy) position, and even though some of them fell, the small critters managed to systematically wipe out everyone in their path. They took no prisoners…”

What we get from the Black Knight is an invitation to join these combatants, the crew of the Starshatter, and to participate with them in the Fight Against Evil. The writer carefully picks the Game, sets the Stage, and cleverly creates a 3D world with his words. It almost seems as if he wants you to jump into the game as if you, yourself, were playing it. Black Knight weaves a tale for us that slowly unravels this deadly narrative (remember we are only up to Book 4 of 10) clearly delineating and describing the two “sides” of the conflict. The enemies themselves, as well as their cultural biases, weaknesses, strengths, and cunning plans, are meticulously unpacked. At the same time the author drops hints and reveals insights into their goals and motivations, which adds another level of intrigue to this already dastardly tale. As the story progresses the enemy are revealed to be a Real and Present threat to the continuation of the Terran races.

Although the crew of the Starshatter are a formidable force, they are severely challenged by the abhorrent cohort of enemies terrorising the sentients of Fringe Space. This unholy coalition is relentless. There are the Vaugn – viscously cruel and sickening Matriarchs who have enslaved and abused their males, and the Taz’aran – who value the equipment of the soldiers more than the soldiers’ lives. The Jaern, who eat only sentient beings. Alive. Their death cult priestesses brutally torture young children to drink their blood… As if that is not enough there are also slavers, pirates, The Illuminati, Loki, the AdBot, the dark obelisk, Lord Rot, the Unlife… the list of enemies is long and they are each as horrific as the last. There is really only one way to deal with enemies such as these and that would be their total and complete eradication from the Multiverse.

“ … (using) his ability to control fire, the telepath augmented the already devastating laser beam instantly when pressing the trigger. The rifle’s imprint echoed, vibrating at the same psychic frequency, unleashing not a tight laser beam but a fiery cone. A red glowing burst of fire that engulfed Aleska and Taz’aran troopers both, making them swim in literal hellfire”.


But despite this gruesome array of evil (not really that different from the evil beings who threaten our freedom here on Earth in 2019), this story is not a horror story. It is a story of triumph, persistence, hope and, best of all, it is irreverently funny. The humor is what makes it easy to take in, and process, the very serious warning that the Knight is handing on. Before it is too late for Earth and our iteration of reality.

On another note; humor is best when it is unexplained, so let me show you instead. In one of the myriad of sub-plot in which Mr. Spookums (a solver of problems) hired by Anit'za's parents, hires a variety of lowlife bounty hunters (Anit’za calls them “sods”) to apprehend their prodigal son. There follows an array of some really funny (not for the criminals) cameos scattered throughout the books.

In the prologue of Book 1, “Starshatter” the heroes all meet up for the first time over dinner in a most posh and beautiful restaurant. Warriors eat too and there surely is a lot of exciting and mouth-wateringly well described dishes to be eaten throughout the books. But their meal goes unfinished as they are accosted by Spookums’ thugs -

“The brawl was impossible to prevent now – soon both restaurant patrons and bounty hunters were melded into one huge bundle of bodies, which spilled through the already broken doors and out in the street. Somehow Captain Anit’za still had his wine glass in hand and while vigorously defending its content he kicked and punched in a most elegant and gentlemanly manner any bounty hunter who dared come close to him.”

And then later, in Book 4, Anit’za is confronted by a beautiful assassin, this time in a coffee shop. As he passionately informs his crew, “… this Quest of mine is not simply something I follow out of fancy. If we give it our best, our all, then victory is ensured!”

In the wake of these rousing words

“…a female server, a very beautiful female server, tripped over her own feet and almost fell into Anit’za’s hands. Almost, because the captain, graciously moved away and with the same motion rotated his chair so that the woman would comfortably sit on it instead of falling on the floor.” Startled, the server’s beautiful, supple lips stretched into a seductive smile…”

Anit’za is not conned. He informs her

“Not all gentlemen are as dexterous or observant as I am, and your behind may not be that lucky next time. I am told that abruptly sitting on the floor might cause sudden and most undesirable pain.” …... – The Dzenta’rii fixed his new, perfect hairdo, placed the captain’s hat on his head and after bowing to the waitress, quickly walked out of the coffee shop."

The assassin is most put out

"the infiltration of this town had been in vain. She was tempted to punch one of her new colleagues senseless …”

The levels of entertainment are splendid, awe-inspiring, breath-taking. How long until Book 5 is released? I am not sure that I can wait…