Beginning a sort of prequel series to Dietz’s Legion of the Damned cycle (A Fighting Chance, 2011, etc.), these are the far-future exploits of what is currently known as the French Foreign Legion.
Humanity has established a galactic empire and come into conflict with aliens. Emperor Alfred Ordanus is working with Carletto Industries to develop affordable cyberbodies—hence a sort of immortality—for everyone. Alfred’s sister Ophelia, however, has other ideas. Using her deadly synth warriors, she assassinates Alfred and ruthlessly sets about eliminating all of Alfred’s supporters, including the unsuspecting Carlettos. On planet Esparto, Lady Catherine Carletto luckily survives a bombing at an official function. Friendless and desperate, Cat has only one chance: She must vanish. And the Legion is the only organization that will accept her without asking awkward questions about her real identity or the ugly knife wound she sustained to her face. In other ways, too, the Legion is an ideal sanctuary for new recruit Andromeda McKee. It will toughen her up and teach her survival skills, such as how to kill and how to plan, while allowing her to remain concealed while she nurtures her desire for revenge. So, on various planets, the Legion turns socialite Cat into soldier Andromeda. What she doesn’t yet know is that Ophelia has a long list of people to be murdered by her all but indestructible synths—and Cat Carletto is number 2999. Don’t expect much of a plot, but Dietz develops his characters adequately within the limits of the story—and the action rarely lets up.
Mostly predictable, but no less of a page turner for all that.