Cortii Series Box Set

Mercenaries, spaceships, and dirty fighting combine in this thrilling sci-fi adventure series

Fiction - Science Fiction
1055 Pages
Reviewed on 12/26/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I was born in Gibraltar and raised on a yacht around the coasts of the Atlantic. I’m an author, martial artist, and introvert. In between the necessary making of money to allow the writing of more books, I can usually be found stowing away on a spaceship, halfway to the further galaxy.

I write sci-fi and UF adventure set on planets and in places parked just a little off-parallel with this one. Most of my characters have been broken at least once and got back up to eviscerate someone with the broken edges.

Science-fiction and urban fantasy are my favourite genres to write in. I grew up on a rich diet of Anne McCaffrey, Tolkien, Dorothy Dunnett, and Jack Higgins, and finally started to write my own books aged fourteen. I can't point the finger at any one book or author that set me in my current direction, but I blame my tendency to write characters who favour drastically practical solutions on some mix of those. If I can toss in a bit of gender- and genre-bending, so much the better. Status quo is boring.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite

The Cortii Series by J. C. Steel is a collection of four books, with a supplemental addition that provides some linkage to the common threads of the main plot. The net result is a sweeping epic reminiscent in some aspects of the classic Dune series, where the galactic spotlight shines on a rich, diverse, and at times deadly mix of humanoid and alien species. The main player in this dance between stars appears to be The Federated Planets Alliance (FPA), although the actual show stealer is one of the premium organized groups of paid mercenaries; a genetically manipulated species known as the Cortii, trained to become elite tools for hire. Based on the planet Corina, the Cortii train in groups of 25 known as Cortia, and when ready to become active, they are led by a Cortiora. Khyria Ilan becomes Cortiora of Wildcat Cortia, and we follow her path through incredible worlds and adventures, from the rigorous and deadly training regime of Book 1, through various missions in Books 2 and 3, to an ultimate showdown of unimagined power in Book 4. Marking this accumulation of mission experience indelibly are the ever-present powers of Abilities, who control mental resources to astonishing levels; Khyria being one of the ultimate vessels, carrying telepathy, empathy, and kinetic strength beyond the scale. The real excitement of this extraordinary tale comes not so much from the scope of the external worlds, but from the compelling voyage inward as you explore the perniciously layered complexity of the power resident within Khyria. A voyage that will leave no one untouched.

J. C. Steel’s The Cortii Series is not just a typical science fiction story of slashing lasers and black and white combatants; there is a cerebral depth running through these books that is amazingly evocative in its strength and quality. Such is its power that you can’t resist the surge of emotion when the main characters are faced with peril; when Khyria is laid out on a slab being attacked by adepts of the Order in turn, I felt genuine and real consternation for her position beyond what I would normally expect. Another bone-jarring moment came from Anst’s realization that if he didn’t link with Khyria to help Tavia, then he would be thrust into the role of Cortertia; the delicious irony of this washed over me on many levels. The Cortii Series is a superbly woven story of powers real and futuristic, melded into the politics, religions, and machinations of humanoids in a disturbingly real manner, that will be a perfect read for those seeking science fiction that will make you think. A great series; I really enjoyed it.

Amy Raines

In the Cortii Box Set by J C Steel, the Cortia are space mercenaries led by Khyria Ilan. Battles always bring casualties, ones that have to be refilled, and Ilan is not one to grieve openly. Taiva, the second in command, is highly respectful and grateful for Ilan’s skills as a fighter as well as a Commander. Being for hire mercenaries is not easy, especially when so many people want the Cortia dead. From epic battles nearly lost and those that are barely won, Ilan realizes there is more at stake than the typical casualties of war. Will Taiva ever understand Ilan’s lack of real emotion? Will the battles they find themselves in be the death of the Cortia? What is the worst casualty - the loss of those under Ilan’s command or her fight to regain control of her own mind?

The Cortii Box Set by J C Steel consists of 4 books that are packed full of action, suspense, and life on the front lines of battle. All of the characters have their own backstory and that makes them easy for readers to understand and relate to. I love how tough and edgy Ilan is as she battles her inner demons as well as her enemies! There are no better mercenaries for hire that will wage war as fiercely as the Cortia. I love how every book brings a unique and unexpected twist to the story - from searching for the fittest commander and understanding Elemental Order, to fighting for control of the mind, this collection has it all! I recommend the Cortii Box Set to anyone who enjoys a story that has everything expected in a sci-fi action tale with a lot of the unexpected thrown in for good measure.

Tammy Ruggles

Cortii Series Box Set by J C Steel is an ambitious and successful science fiction series that brings books 1-4 of the series together in one volume. There is a lot to unpack in this collection, but what a pleasure to do so. The Cortii are pricey mercenaries used by governments as the ultimate destructive force. They are powerful, and governments can't really control or destroy them. Book 1 is Through the Hostage, where we find the Commander of the Cortii, Khyria Ilan, who can't remember her past. She wants to survive and dodge those that wish her dead. She is a blunt force that needs to be harnessed, but is that even possible? Book 2 is Fighting Shadows, where eleven lives are lost, wounds are exposed, and violence reigns. Book 3 is Elemental Affinity, which shows us a new world and a new opportunity for Khyria Ilan's Wildcat unit, plus an ancient prophecy involving a black-clad rider and a springing wildcat. Chaos is about to come down, and there could be devastating ramifications. Book 4 is Elemental Conflict and has worlds hanging in the balance, and Khyria, as she takes a chance to reclaim her mind through The Elemental Order. For a satisfying foray into a dazzling science fiction universe, keep reading.

JC Steel is a dynamic writer. This author is thorough and imaginative when it comes to building worlds you can believe in. Let's start with one of the main characters, Khyria. She is so well-rounded you feel like you know her, and you care about what happens to her. She's an independent spirit facing many obstacles and can be edgy, but she's a hero at heart and is up for almost any challenge. I like that Steel gave her the barrier of amnesia. Being unable to remember her past raises the stakes and offers yet another hurdle to master. As for the series, I appreciate that it spanned several years and that the characters grow and change over the course of time. Steel handles characters and their stories with ease, and is meticulous with details and setting (an understatement!), especially with culture, the spacecraft, and the weapons. The plot of each book is exciting enough on its own, but when you read all four books together, there is a flow, a momentum, a balance that can be admired. These are universes and civilizations you like learning about, and one of my favorite things is the author's use of telepathy. A taste of Unaltered and the vocabulary list at the conclusion are nice too. If you like world-building that is so intricate you want to know all about it, you will love absorbing these books. Cortii Series Box Set by JC Steel is a science fiction phenomenon.