Top positive review
Brilliant Characters, Must Read for Fans or before Sky Full of Stars
Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2020
Cyborg Legacy is a Novella set several years after the events of End Game, the final book of the Fallen Empire series. It sees Alisa and Leonidas happily married, Jelena living with them, and they now have twin 3 and half year old girls Maya and Nika. Mica has left the ship to follow her own path, Yumi is together with Aberlardus, and Osberg has stayed on the ship, both as their mechanic, and to get Starseer training from Stanislov, who is also on the ship to train Jelena.
However, even though they brought a semi-peace to the galaxy in the events of Fallen Empire, all is not peaceful. A member of Leonidas’ unit Jasim, contacts him to let him know that someone is killing Imperial Cyborgs, using a deadly poison and then cutting out their implants to sell on the black market.
Jasim unfortunately was not the best of soldiers back in the day, having signed up for the Cyborg treatment without thinking things through, and then getting stuck with the 20yr plan and no out. He tried though, asking on the grounds of mental health, much to the disgust of the Commander at the time, Leonidas.
Now however, Jasim has changed, he works doing repo work, just trying to make an honest living (he did want to be a teacher and help kids, but they are all too scared of him, being an imperial killer cyborg and all), so he is back to being hired muscle. He works with an old grandmother, who is the pilot of the ship they work from, Maddy loves to knit things, whilst Jasim does the grunt work, it makes for a rather hilarious set up.
And so begins our story, as Jasim and Leonidas come together to hunt the Cyborg Killer and try to bring him to justice.
Or just kill him, either one will do.
This book is Buroker at her best, with thrilling action and fight scenes, but at the same time, brilliant wit and humour as only she can do. In amongst this we get to explore not just Jasim, but also some of Leonidas, and how they managed to survive the war, not just the physical aspect of it, but the psychological aspect of being turned into killing machines and having to deal with the consequences of this, and the outcomes of years of war.
It quickly becomes clear that Jasim has not survived unscathed, and he must fight his inner demons to be able to help Leonidas find this killer before anymore of their Cyborg brothers are killed (or one of them is).
It is fascinating reading the struggles that Jasim had, but Buroker also gives us a rare insight into Leonidas, both his Cyborg past, and the future he has now, and we get to see how the two sides of the coin conflict (but which he easily prefers).
The title of ‘Cyborg Legacy’ has many possible connotations, and Buroker uses the story to explore many of them.
There are multiple facets of the Legacy of the Cyborgs, the Legacy of their work within the Empire as brutal killers for the Empire, there is their Future Legacy, what is to become of them now, both in the sense of who do they work for, how do they survive, but also, since they cannot reproduce, what happens to these men when they die, who will remember them? And as Jasim has found, there is the Legacy of the fear associated with them, and no one willing to hire a Cyborg for anything except mercenary work, making their lives very lonely.
Buroker explores these topics exceptionally well through both the Characters of Jasim and Leonidas, but also uses other characters such as Maddy to help bring out some of the more personal elements. Buroker’s character writing is brilliant, making this such a great series to read, as you can really get into each of the characters, they become part of your life you know them so well. It is rare to find a book in which you find that you are so intimately bound with the characters, that you know what they are thinking, their senses of humour, Buroker has given each of them such depth.
One of the really funny characters in this book is Maddy, Jasim’s ‘older’ pilot, who likes to knit when the ship is on Autopilot. Her dialogue is very real, gritty, raw, and absolutely hilarious at times, you will laugh so hard you will have to stop reading.
If you are a fan of the series then you have to read this, it is a must read. If you are going to read the series ‘A Sky Full of Stars’ then you have to read this before you read ‘A Rogue Prince’, it gives some very valuable background that will make that series so much better and easier to understand.
Otherwise, it is just a great read on how the war has impacted the Cyborgs, Buroker has made a great effort to really understand the psychological damage that war can do to people so she can write believable characters. As someone who suffers PTSD, I totally got the Jasim character, as well as Leonidas. There are some things the Human Brain is not designed to deal with. This is a fantastic read.