The Only Game in the Galaxy by Paul Collins
Published by Ford Street Publishing
Maximus Black is an agent for spy agency, RIM. He's also its founder and the key character of this story. The Only Game in the Galaxy is the third and final book in the Maximus Black Files.
The story begins with Maximus foiling an ambush on himself and on the Envoy then sending his arch nemesis, Anneke Longshadow, through a portal to her death – or so he believes.
But someone has sabotaged the gate process and Anneke survives, although she has lost some of her memories... which she later discovers may not even be her own natural memories. She’s kept her skills but has no real knowledge of who she is.
Even though her memory is gone, Anneke's instinct is to return to her previous life. Maximus crosses path with her and sees a greater purpose. He tells her about herself then is forced to protect her in another ambush. The story runs fast from here and Maximus finds himself in a tangle that he hopes he’s in control of.
Although the main character is Maximus Black, I also found Anneke a very entertaining and intriguing character to follow.
The Only Game in the Galaxy is not the type of book I'm drawn to naturally, yet it drew me in and kept me on the edge of my chair wondering what would happen next. It's a futuristic blend of James Bond, Star Gate and the Bourne Identity yet with the anomaly of such a thing as a safe house that has old lace curtains and a bookcase of dog-eared, paperback books.
The plot is complex, high action, high technology and quite dark. I recommend this book for kids in the mid-teens especially those who love interplanetary spying, space yachts, betrayal and fast-paced, explosive fight scenes.
The only thing I struggled with through this book is the large number of characters to remember.
I feel that The Only Game in the Galaxy has two themes. The soft one is that if you do something kind, it will come back to help you when it's needed. This relates to Anneke and the woman she rescued early in the book named Mirella who comes back on the scene later in the story. The tougher theme is, no matter how strong you are (Maximus) and how strong a team you work in (RIM), when you’re on a mission you always need to watch your back because you never seem to know who’s on your side.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Paul Collins
Title: The Only Game in the Galaxy
Publisher: Ford Street Publishing
Published: September 2013