Shadow Eclipse: Voyage by E. M. Gale is a compelling science fiction story with an elaborately developed protagonist and a setting between the present and the future, a story that has elements of the supernatural and romance. General Clarke finds herself 200 years in the future. Now she is no longer a normal woman. She is a vampire. While she struggles to figure out how she got here, she also needs to survive against strong odds. She joins a smuggling vessel as a mercenary — a woman without any identification — and gets caught up in extraordinary adventures involving pirate attacks, a romance with a vampire, Orcish squad-mates that are difficult to trust, and a lot more. Can she find her way back home to herself or will she reconcile to what she’s become?
There is so much at stake in this riveting tale. The reader encounters the protagonist right from the beginning. I loved the stream of consciousness that opens the story as the protagonist struggles to define where she is and how she got there. She struggles to remember episodes from her past and the soliloquy allows for a kind of introspection as she searches her memory for answers. It is interesting that from the beginning of the story readers are already aware that something unusual has happened and that General Clarke isn’t where she is supposed to be and that she isn’t who she is supposed to be.
E. M. Gale is a great storyteller who writes scenes full of clarity and focus. The contrast between Clarke’s life in the past and what she’s become comes out clearly in the story and this contrast is at the heart of the psychological conflict. The backstory is skillfully handled and not a distraction to readers, so glimpses from the past only help to enrich the story and deepen the conflict. Shadow Eclipse: Voyage is beautifully told in a voice that engages the reader right away. The action is pulsating and the plot reserves manifold surprises for readers. This is a well-crafted science fiction story that will definitely entertain fans.