All Cassius Mass wanted to do after his war ended was to keep his head down and drink enough to keep himself from remembering. But once others aboard the freighter where he’d made a hiding place learn who he is, it sets on a series of double and triple crosses with everyone looking to use Cassius for their own ends.
Lucifer’s Star is told in the first person from Cassius’ perspective and deals with a number of issues, ranging the rights of artificial humans to the ethics of war. But the centerpiece is Cassius’ on-going struggle to reconcile the man he believed he was with the man he now realizes he is. This growth is at times hesitant, frequently painful and always deftly handled.
Since everything is seen through Cassius’ eyes, we don’t get the same deep insights into the other characters but they are still well drawn and easily differentiated. My favorite was probably Ida Claire, the matronly captain of the freighter, who seems equally comfortable hauling cargo and plotting the downfall of governments.
The world-building is also excellent, doled out in stages to add layers to our understanding of this universe, usually accompanied by the latest twist in the plot.
If I had a problem with the book it was that towards the end I was getting close to losing track of who wanted Cassius to do what and who was double-crossing who. But this will be helped by a re-read, I’m sure.
Recommended for people who like their sci-fi with a dark edge.