A prequel to Contine’s space opera novel, Metal Bones, Tank tells the story of the titular alien who longs to prove himself worthy of competing in the Ceremony. In a coming of age test of strength, only those who prove victorious in the Ceremony are able to leave the village to seek their fortune on the rest of the planet.
Apart from Tank’s lack of fighting skill, his days are marred by the bully, Roaz, who has taken a particular dislike to Tank’s best friend, Naf. Another youngster hopeful of competing in the Ceremony, Roaz sees Tank and Naf as weaklings who are a disgrace to their species.
Can Tank prove his worth to be a competitor and save his best friend?
Tank is a Sovich, a scaled, tailed alien who lives in a forested planet. Despite having some high tech equipment such as blasters and helibikes, Sovich society is simple. They rely on hunting giant beasts for food, and only warriors who are successful at the mysterious Ceremony are able to leave the village and seek their fortune elsewhere.
I liked Tank. It was easy to cheer for him as he worked hard to live up to his father’s expectations and become a good enough fighter to enter the Ceremony.
I absolutely loved Tank’s friend, Naf. His unusual orange colour, short statue, propensity to be bullied, and his plucky attitude endeared me to him. I liked his relationship with Tank. They reminded me of Chuck and Morgan from the tv show Chuck.
I would love to learn more about the Sovich society, why they value brute force yet have a zero tolerance policy for bullying, how females fit into their society, how they have advanced tech, what their beliefs are, etc. I hope these will be covered in Metal Bones, which I look forward to reading.
While I liked how aspects of the Sovich appearance were slipped into the story, I would love some more detailed description to get a really good picture of what they looked like. I also wonder why Tank’s mother was never named. Perhaps females in Sovich society don’t warrant names?
An entertaining novelette that is available for a low price on Amazon or as a free gift when you sign up to the author’s newsletter.
I award Tank…