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Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite
A Snake by the Tail by Cherime MacFarlane is a science fiction adventure that evokes a metaphor for living with something so precious that wars will be fought over its control; the dangers of holding it are as equally pervasive as the dangers of a snake in the hand. What does a Messerian Captain of the mercenary ship Long Sword know of these dangers? Very little, until he receives a call for assistance from the luxury ship Tressa, which will entangle him in ways he could never imagine, with secrets beyond his imagination and a relationship that will forever change his life. How Maden negotiates this new and perilous course will have ramifications that go well beyond the confines of his ship; an entire world will ride upon his success or failure.
Cherime MacFarlane’s A Snake by the Tail is an exciting journey into worlds and futures we can all relate to in our imaginations right now. The characters, both alien and human, are nicely constructed, with the principal two being brought together with just the right amount of tension to reflect their differences; Maden’s predatory origins added particular spice to his evolving emotions and the growing relationship. Dahteste also brought her own complications to the table, and these were managed in just the right way to avoid coming across as forced or contrived. These characters and relationships were smoothly moved through a variety of environments which were all compelling in their realism, from the confines of a spaceship to the vast emptiness of the desert on Estevan. In effect, there is something for everyone in A Snake by the Tail, no matter where your passion lies in the material Universe or the bottomless well of emotional exploration.