Serving Time by Nadine Ducca

TIME
Serving Time by Nadine Ducca
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (241 Pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Life and death have been industrialized. The Forge, the birthplace of every soul, is a rumbling factory owned by the goddess Time, managed by Lucifer, and powered by the labor of demons and imps. In this dystopian world, a renegade interplanetary pilot running from his past doesn’t stand a chance.

Handling Neptunian meth and dodging security cannons are all in a day’s work for Tristan Cross—not that he’s one to complain. Working for the smuggling company StarCorp is an improvement over what he used to do for a living.

However, when StarCorp gives Tristan a one-way ticket into the brainwashed—and disturbingly suicidal—Loyal League, he decides to run from the company and start a new life in the only safe haven he knows: Earth. With the help of his brother, Tristan embarks on the most hazardous journey of his life, one that will place him at Time’s mercy. Little does he know the demons running the universe are craving a feast, and his own soul is the next item on the menu.

The Logos set up the world with a forge for creating mortal beings. But once everything was set up the Logos left. “When the Logos abandoned us, I stepped up,” Time said. “I took the reins of the universe and distributed the legions of demons to keep the machine working. They run everything since the Logos turned its back upon its own creation. They are the Devourers of the faulty True Selves, but now also Keepers—Guardians—of every single True Self to ever exist.”

This is the premise behind Serving Time. The story tells of two brothers, Tristan and Eneld Cross. Tristan is a True Self who is in danger of being sent to the Repository for faulty True Selves. Eneld is a human Keeper, tasked with helping Tristan find redemption. This is a far from easy task as Tristan is a murder turned drug dealer, working for StarCorp. When he tries to resign, the company implants a chip in his neck containing a mind-consuming loyalty drug. And thus, the race begins.

The plot is filled with action and there are twists and turns on nearly every page. There are also a lot of interesting characters who help or hinder Tristan’s attempt to leave StarCorp. The characters are believably portrayed with each having both good and bad qualities.

I like the mythology of this world. It is complex and I was really absorbed in the different planes, mortal and immortal. The goddess Time is one of my favorite characters and her jealousy of her sister, the goddess Future, results in some interesting conflicts. The idea of overworked demons running the universe is unique and fascinating.

Fantasy and Science-Fiction readers are sure to enjoy this wild, chaotic ride through space and time. The action never lets up, and there are surprises all the way to the final moments of the story.

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