Title: For Blood or Money
Author: Benjamin Reynolds
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Damnation Books
What I liked: A very detailed and well written science fiction novel. Reynolds writes intricate scenes with his characters, enriching dialogue that will surely please any reader who loves science fiction! It's also a wonderful adventurous story about two people wanting to save others for different reasons. This is a story not to miss!
Following a jailhouse rumor to the barren planet of Kafiristar, two down-on-their-luck ex-soldiers prepare to fight to recover a slave trader’s stash of twenty million in uncut diamonds. But they are not alone. Tired, hungry, and a hundred thousand light years away from home, they find themselves fighting only for each other; one desperate to save his friend’s life, the other to save his friend’s soul.
They lined the edge of the outcropping in one continuous, writhing mass. Sep counted forty, maybe fifty of the howling tribesmen before getting lost in their tattered, brown robes. And still more were coming. When the first one finally stepped onto the bridge, Septimus hoisted Fin across his back and broke into a run. A quick succession of gunshots crackled through the air. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the rhythm of his labored breaths, drowning out the sounds of the bullets snapping all around his body. His knees buckled when he finally caught one in the back and he felt himself falling, tumbling into a black tunnel of pain that exploded onto the wooden planks. For a moment, he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see past the flashing strains of light in front of his eyes. But he could still move.
He forcibly rolled onto the back of his legs and propped himself up. They were coming fast now, pouring onto the far end of the bridge in a seething wave. His boots kicked underneath him as he inched his way forward, pulling Fin along with him. Sep aimed his pistol and dropped the tribesman at the head of the mob. The man went down easy and he fired again, watching the others fall like sacks of grain with every pull of the trigger. He counted fifteen, then twenty dead natives before ramming a fresh power cell into his gun, the musket fire steadily rising over their desperate wails. But they kept coming, and Sep knew they’d overtake him soon. He strained to pull himself up.
The pain from his wound flared white-hot as he pumped his legs, closing the gap between himself and the other side. He stepped off the wooden planks and headed for the boulder near the mouth of the bridge, dropping Fin onto the ground behind it. Checking his gun’s ammo counter, he reached for another power cell in a chest pouch. His heart sank. The pouch was empty. A tribesman’s bullet slammed into the rock near Septimus’ cheek and exploded, spraying fragments of stone into the side of his face. Septimus wiped the blood from his jaw. He knew they were both going to die there. Bracing the gun across the top of the boulder, he reached down and squeezed Fin’s shoulder.
“Let them come,” he whispered.