Road Rash Reviews

Vindictus Novel Review****-

2022

4 Star

The Fight Continues.

Whether you remember the original run on the BBC of Blake’s 7 and the crew of the Liberator as they fought the ones that wanted to rule their lives or on a re-run, the struggle is remembered as a personal struggle, the winter of discontent was as relevant then as it is now. Now two avid Sci-Fi fans, Louella Richardson and Neil Shearer¬†have taken on the mantle and have resurrected the concept of a rag-tag bunch of misfits and criminals versus the might of the rapid expansionist Federation.

Much has gone on in the universe since Roj Blake roamed the galaxies in the highly advanced Liberator with Avon, Vila, Cally, Dayna, Tarrant, all at odds with Servalan and the Federation. The Federation are on a rapid expansion, subduing star system after star system. But they are ever vigilant, within their obsidian mega buildings across Federation space. It takes just one small infringement on Federation security to set everything in motion. Not for thirty years has there been a security breach, but a keen eyed communications analyst spots something that they have all trained for. A tell tale signal of the most feared and sought after object in the universe, Orac,  the super-computer that posed such a problem to the Federation thirty years ago. This must be followed up, and Orac retrieved at all cost.

This task falls at the feet of the most determined Commissioner Lamia, a woman who follows closely in the footsteps of former President Servalan.

She is under direct orders from the “Supreme Imperator” to capture this priceless resource for the Federation, and she tasks the ambitious Space Commander Ariq to send Mutoids to Gauda Prime to retrieve the square box that is Orac.

Orac is aware of the detection of his intrusion, and not being able to move by himself, the A.I. sends out a number of distress signals to get him off Gauda Prime. One of those signals is picked up by the highly advanced Alta’s in their System, far from Federation space. They send one of their older ships, but it is still far more advanced than anything flying in the black today. Much nearer to Federation space is the overpopulated city of Denish, where we find the the grandson of the inventor of the missing Orac, Zac Ensor, a man with too much intellect to be where he is, who passes his time with petty crimes. He believes he is the rightful heir to Orac and the message he received has set his mind in motion.

Also connected to the old crew of the Liberator is Lou Blake, the cousin of Roj who is obsessed with Roj’s exploits, but at the moment she languishes in jail as her zealous brother sent her there after she ran off to join the opposition of the Federation. Her mother the President sympathizes with her. Additionally, marooned on Gauda Prime are two old sparring partners that know all about Roj’s exploits on the Liberator, Villa and Tarrant, who have spent the last thirty years scratching a very dodgy living on a planet that they have no way of getting off.

All the players are on the field now, some familiar, and some related to the original freedom fighters, and completely new characters from very different backgrounds, like Semelle the Mutoid, or as some might say a Vampire, and the warrior that must follow his warrior code Callan, a man that has had a personal loss and believes that a new quest is the only option of freedom for his planet. On the planet Kainnessos, the Federation is trying to subdue the population with their new pacification drug Pylene 74. There is unrest, and sitting in a cell is Tavia, a woman with skills similar to Vila’s, who is looking for a way out and a new cause to follow.

Now it is a race to acquire Orac and whisk the obnoxious A.I. away before The Federation and anyone else gets their hands on him. The original characters behave as you would expect, but these new characters’ breathe new life into that age-old struggle of good versus evil.

Vindictus is a gripping read, and if you are fans of the original series you will be reading Villa’s parts in his voice, (It’s only been forty years, fresh in the mind). I personally think this novel should fly off the shelves and make a huge amount for whichever charities are chosen, long live the independent writer’s. Looking forward to reading the further adventures of the Vindictus and her crew.

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AuthorLouella Richardson, Neil Shearer
Category: Novel, Review