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Book Review: Marque of Caine by Charles E. Gannon

by Dennis M. Myers, 11/1/2019

I started reading the Caine Riordan series a few years ago. The first book was Fire with Fire, published in 2013. Set in the not too distant future, it's the story of mankind's first steps among the stars, and the civilizations that are already out there waiting for us.

Of course, it doesn't work out as well as one might hope. The next book in the series was Trial by Fire in 2014, and then Raising Caine in 2015. There is war, betrayal, failure, and success. There are losses and victories.

By this time I was hooked. Gannon gives us just enough to show how detailed his universe is. There are plots that go back thousands of years, alien civilizations that were once mindbogglingly advanced who are now gone. There are plot twists that will make your head spin as you grin and eagerly read more.

In 2017 he gave us the fourth book, Caine's Mutiny. This is one of those books where you get to explore an alien civilization, uncover a part of that aforementioned ancient mystery, just enough to put you in the middle of an epic battle on an alien world.

This year (2019) has been a bumper crop for fans. Lost Signals, the first anthology of short stories set in the Caine Riordan universe was published, followed shortly by Marque of Caine, the fifth book of the series. The anthology is a good read with a variety of voices exploring various aspects in ways that only guest authors can bring to the table. I'm sure Chuck was delighted with the creativity the project brought out.

Marque of Caine is another great book. I have to say, my favorite of the series. Which seems to be what each book has been in turn. This is an exploration of an alien civilization that has existed for so long, they've forgotten much of how they got there. Gannon gives us the opportunity to sample their most ancient customs, as their current political intrigue. All against a rollicking chase of a man searching for that which is most dear to him. Along the way there are new friends, new enemies, and a slightly bigger look at a universe that is full, well detailed, and old. Very, very old.

If you are looking for a Science Fiction Adventure, this series certainly fits the bill. As an added bonus, the first book is available for FREE as an eBook. The link is below.

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