The Third Side
By Stephen Sweeney
The Pandoran war machine is on the move and Simon Dodds finds himself shot down over the luxury planet of Mythos. Separated from his team mates he soon learns that the once-popular holiday destination has become a hellish war zone, swarming with armies of seemingly unstoppable black-suited soldiers. They seem to be preparing to advance their mission to overpower the rest of the galaxy as they dis with the Mitikas Empire.
As the young pilot makes his way through the war torn streets of New Malaga he discovers a secret much more terrible, he may even be able to uncover the truth behind the black-suited warriors and just what the ATAFs were built for, if he can just survive the next 24 hours...
The Third Side follows on from the events of The Honour of the Knights and I was again impressed with not only the quality of the writing but the confident voice and clear sense of style that is projected from the pages. Characterisation is again handled very well indeed with well fleshed out protagonists that you can't help but like. This includes some very strong female roles and some nicely disturbing antagonists.
The narrative is both gripping and fast paced and the descriptive action sequences are really top notch - which highlights the strong style an clear voice that feels very much like a classic street level war novel. Most of the story is set on the enemy occupied planet and there are a number of nice plot twists that really do keep the reader entertained. I found myself really enjoying this idea of survival on a war torn planet along with some very well choreographed fight scenes and colourful characters. The protagonists get plenty of room to grow too and develop as the story progresses.
It is recommended that you read The Honour of the Knights first as there isn't much in the way of back story or reflection on previous events however you could quite easily read it as a stand alone if you really wanted.
The Third Side is an accomplished novel, it's got a great set of characters, a distinctive style and a powerful plot, recommended.
Written on 21st September 2011 by Ant .