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By Wayne Basta, author of Seraph's Gambit

Nov 26, 2018: Disclaimer: Star’s Tempest is published on the same site as some of my own work.

Star’s Tempest is a sci-fi retelling of Shakespeare’s Tempest. It makes no effort to hide this, as some stories do. Some authors will take an old classic, like Shakespeare, and write something based entirely on that and think they are clever for it. HCH Ritz isn’t trying to be clever, she’s just telling a compelling story and used a classic as a starting point.

Set on an alien world that wants to kill you even more than Australia, the story tells about a group of failed colonists trying desperately to survive. Unfortunately, their leader, Prospero, has been corrupted by the planet and has become more of a terror than the planet itself. Our main character, Miranda, wants to save them all but has the unfortunate shackles of being Prospero’s daughter.

It’s a good set up and the alien life is creepy and scary. It’s both trying to kill them and, ironically, the only thing keeping some of them alive as they have discovered some medicinal uses for the life. It’s a lose-lose situation the characters are stuck in. But they haven’t given up.

One area the story suffers from its commitment to its Shakespeare roots. Shakespeare’s story all involve love at first sight. I personally find that trope boring and overdone. It’s the one part of the story I find frustrating.

But the rest of it is strong enough to keep me interested. Others won’t mind the love story as much.

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