The Story Reading Ape's Science Fiction Bookcase


Ghost in the Machine (Corwint Central Agent Files) by C.E. Kilgore


“Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely unexpected, but you sure have one hell of a ride. You can’t fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can’t control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it’s going to take you.”

Take part in an exploration of the heart through a richly built and diverse universe of cultures, planets and people. As a member of the Vesparian race that seeks to keep its entire existence secret, Orynn is thrown into the open by a request for help that she could not refuse. Seeking to reconcile past mistakes and gain a forgiveness she feels she does not deserve, the control over her empathic abilities is put to the test when the darkness that lives within her spirit threatens to once again destroy any piece of happiness that she allows herself to find.

Joining a rag-tag crew of Central Agents, who are part of an organization that maintain a counterbalance against the encroaching Xen’dari Empire, Orynn finds unexpected friendship and a trust she struggles not to betray. When her heart grows an attachment for one of the crew members, a Mechatronic Automaton who reminds her of a lost and cherished friendship, the darkness within her fights against it and begins to rip her spirit in two. When another Agent tries to bring out the darkness in order to witness her races’ rumored capabilities, she is brought to the edge of the abyss within her soul. With a gentle push, she jumps.

As a Mechatronic Automaton, Ethan defines his world through a set of logically defined values and understandings. Encountering Orynn throws his system out of balance as he tries to decide if he should trust the feelings he is developing, or if he should follow the logic telling him that she is trying to control him for some unknown purpose. Should he keep her at a distance despite his want to bring her near, or should he follow the heart he swears he does not have? As his understanding of her develops, he begins to question all of his preconceived notions about both himself and the universe around him.

In his attempts to capture the Vesparian prey he has been hunting after for two decades, the First Commander of the Xen’dari fleet will stop at nothing and track Orynn to the ends of the universe. On a path of vengeance for a past he can’t let go of, he will do everything in his power to burn her world down around her feet until nothing is left but ash and the bitter taste of regret. The Central Agents’ mission to save a planet from a genetically created plague is put in jeopardy by the First Commander’s advances. The crew must fight against the unknown foe as they travel between systems in their search for the plague’s cure.

Orynn guides the crew through these systems with her knowledge of the cultures and peoples, giving the young captain a crash course in the uncommon races of the Outer Rim. Captain Hankarron Eros is in for the ride of his life as he tries to put aside his preconceived ideas about Vesparians and give Orynn his trust. Struggling with his own relationship woes and a reputation for rash and strategically lacking decisions, Hank fights to hold on to his Captain’s chair as the legendary legacy of his Uncle overshadows him.

Ghosts of the past clash with hopes for the future in this first book of the series, set in a universe where nothing is as it seems at first glance and trust is a highly priced commodity.

Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.


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