5 Star review by Literary Titan for Denna Holm
Saving Mathis is the second installment in the Cyborg Reborn series, which follows the story of Mathis, the head medic on a cyborg ship called Freedom. His past is riddled with the trauma inflicted upon him by humans over many centuries. However, despite this horrendous mistreatment from the Human Alliance, Mathis vows never to harm a human or any species considered weaker than cyborgs. Instead, he practices healing and strives for a life of peace after having escaped his ruthless captors.
Mathis adapts to life on the Freedom ship. He enjoys an existence without human contact until an unexpected event involves the rescue of a dozen human survivors from another ship, where they were held captive and impregnated by an alien species. This development poses a risk to the lives of twelve vulnerable humans saved from the Vesperian ship, and there is also a shift in priorities. Mathis’ focus quickly shifts to these women, who hold no power or future in this cold, robotic world of cyborgs and patriarchal rule. Without any memory of the traumatic events before the rescue, Tara, one of the twelve women, must rely on Mathis and his assurance of her safety, despite an uncertain life where women have few rights.
Throughout the book, the author reels readers in with vivid imagery, electric action, and a palpable feeling of dread, all while delving into the developing relationship between Mathis and Tara. Tara adjusts to a new world after waking from a coma and finds herself helpless and unlikely to survive. She must navigate her feelings and strategize how to live in this new world. I found her journey to be so compelling. Readers will find her endearing but capable and this dichotomy is explored in interesting ways in the story. As a survivor of human cruelty, Mathis, too, must find peace in this new life and decide if he can trust again. He is a character that has surprising depth and I found myself paying very close attention when he was on the page because I was deeply intrigued by his personality.
Saving Mathis offers a riveting sci-fi tale of survival and perseverance in a futuristic world where darkness and inequality reign, but a glimmer of hope shines through from the unlikeliest of species. Denna Holm’s writing is sharp and engaging, ensuring readers quickly lose themselves in this epic science fiction drama. Saving Mathis is a fantastic cyberpunk space opera that delivers some thought-provoking ideas in an entertaining story.
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