Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel
Remnants of Trust (2016) is the second novel in Elizabeth Bonesteel’s CENTRAL CORPS trilogy. If you haven’t yet read The Cold Between, you should read it first. This review may contain spoilers for that first novel.
Elena and Greg were appropriately court-martialed for their actions in The Cold Between and, instead of prison, their ship Galileo was given a low-level assignment in a backwater sector of space. This partially restored my faith in their military structure, but Elena and Greg suspect that there is a secret segment of the military (called Shadow Ops, actually) that may be manipulating them, perhaps in an attempt to cover up secrets which involve some nasty weaponry and whatever really happened to Greg’s mother’s spaceship, Phoenix. Whatever, Elena and Greg no longer trust their superiors and it isn’t clear who is friend vs foe.
As they are patrolling their sector, Galileo goes to help a sister ship named Exeter who was partially blown up by raiders who were trying to rescue a military prisoner, a corrupt captain who we met in the previous book. Galileo rescues the remaining crew of Exeter with the help of a nearby PSI ship. Of course, Elena and Greg decide to investigate the disaster and they discover sabotage and treachery and, not surprisingly, it all turns out to be related to the events from the previous book, and whatever happened to Phoenix long ago.
Several new characters are introduced in Remnants of Trust, and that’s helpful. They are not simply stock characters, but have a nice mix of backgrounds and motivations. Still, they aren’t developed enough that I feel invested in any of them. By this time I should care about what happens to Elena and Greg, but they both seem so passive that I just wanted to give up on them. I was glad to see one character get the redemption he longed for — I always like that theme.
Particularly helpful is the point of view of the pregnant captain of the PSI generation ship that helps in the rescue. The culture on that ship gives us some of the exoticness that was missing from the previous book, The Cold Between. In Remnants of Trust I finally started to feel like I was actually off of planet Earth, though the real physics of space travel and maneuvering are ignored here (which is pretty common for space opera).
Most of the same issues that I mentioned in my review of The Cold Between remain here. The military structure on Greg’s ship is so lax as to be unbelievable, the writing does its job but nothing more, and the characters, though better here, are still easily forgettable.
I continue to read the HarperAudio versions read by Katharine Mangold who has a suitable voice but gives a bland performance and still has not learned how to properly pronounce the word “ensign.”
The last book in this trilogy is Breach of Containment. I’ve already got it downloaded to my phone, so I’ll review it.
Is she pronouncing it “en-SINE?” or “EN-sine?” Oh, dear.
She pronounced it “EN-sine.” You would think that if she didn’t recognize the word, she’d look it up.
Or, I don’t know, ask someone?