[Book Review] Baen Books: ‘The Bronze Skies’ by Catherine Asaro

Major Bhaajan achieved the impossible. Born Undercity, the slums below the City of Cries on the planet Raylicon, she broke free to become a military officer with Imperial Space Command. Now retired from military duty, she works as a private investigator on retainer to the Majda Family.

Hired by The Ruby Pharaoh herself, Major Bhaajan is tasked with finding a killer. But this is no ordinary murderer. The Ruby Pharaoh witnessed a Jagernaut cut down Assembly Councilor Tap Benton—which shouldn’t have been possible. The Jagernauts are the elite of the elite soldiers in the Imperial Space Command. What’s more, the spinal node implanted in all Jagernauts should have prevented the murder. But the Ruby Pharaoh is sure of what she saw, and she has reason to believe that the Jagernaut will kill again.

Now, Major Bhaajan must hunt down a killer before it is too late. To do so, she must return to the one place on Raylicon she knows best: Undercity.

The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

According to the publisher, this is considered the second book in the Major Bhaajan series, but this book stands entirely on its own. Even the author, Catherine Asaro says it’s a separate book.

Basically, a street urchin that has fought to make it above her beginnings made a name for herself. She’s loyal, dedicated, strong-willed, a quick-thinker, intelligent, and honest. She also belongs to the two-cultures of her world – The Undercity, where she was born and grew up, and Cries, the wealthy city above it. Having a foot in both worlds, she is tasked by the ruler of the world, to solve an unthinkable, and impossible crime.

In pursuit of answers, and what she believes to be the criminal, Major Bhaajan encounters cultures and parts of her world that she didn’t know existed.

This is an exciting novel that throws several twists and turns at you. This story is hard categorize. It is a futuristic, cyber-punk, detective, noir novel with a whodunnit twist. You have sophisticated AI systems, psychic abilities, space travel, virtual reality, alien cultures, and several unique cultural quirks that make Asaro’s world stand out from other sci-fi worlds.

This book kept me turning the pages and I look forward to reading more of Asaro’s world. If you enjoy this, then I suggest you try out the rest of the Skolian world novels by Catherine Asaro.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars. This is definitely something I will read again, and also pass along to my friends to read.

PopCultHQ Rating - 5 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 5 Stars

Written by: Catherine Asaro
Cover Art by Alan Pollack
Published by Baen Books

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down