The hypothesis that war is a constant factor from generation to generation is explored in Honoree Ravenna’s romantic sci-fi/suspense My Cyborg Savior from Crimson Romance. The Federation of Planets, a sort of G8 or G7 in modern times, oversees humankind. In Ravena’s story, the Federation has a group of exemplary children yanked from their poverty-stricken settlements to become programmed for the express purpose of serving the Federation.
The process requires scientists to surgically install cyber-genetic enhancements into their bodies making them more mechanical than human and disabling their free will. Robotic alterations equip them to override computer systems showing a correlation to resourceful droids like R2-D2 and 3-CPO from the Star Wars movies only these are semi-human and robotically engineered to be assassins, killing machines like the Imperial Storm Troopers.
Something has gone wrong with the cyborgs and now the government of the leading planet Larus is enslaving cyborgs. Those that can’t be tamed are destroyed. Ravena makes the escalating tension between the humans and the cyborgs real to the reader who is likely to draw similarities to the Blade Runner film as Harrison Ford’s character is hired to exterminate the robotic replicants.
The reader comes into the story as Cyrus Clearborne, one of Larus’s prominent senators, is purchasing an enslaved cyborg for his daughter Jamila to be used as her bodyguard. The author’s depiction of the ghetto-like conditions, which the cyborgs are held in and where they’re subjugated, is grotesque and portrays a sub-human squalor in the reader’s mind.
The cyborg who is chosen is Galen Martuk, which the reader learns in the subsequent chapters is planning to kidnap Jamila and use her as a means to bribe her father to vote against killing cyborgs. Further into the story, it’s revealed that Cyrus Clearborne had been one of the scientists who mutated humans into cyborgs. Subplots such as this one and others enliven the read giving readers access to Jamila through her relationships with orphans and her deceased mother, and her situation with her strict father who makes her feel as though she’ll never be able to fix herself in his eyes. Her character garners the reader’s compassion as does Galen whose bond with his daughter and ex-wife is fractured.
The subplots reel the audience deeper into the main plot about a band of runaway cyborgs in search of a place to live unmolested. This concept of refugees is relatable to modern day society as internal wars within countries and ethnic cleansing policies produce a huge influx of displaced people and runaways. It’s a daunting picture about the future as a present day condition continues to exist.
Ravena touches on slum-like areas which she calls backwater rocks where core planets export criminals. These open spaces of hostiles are reminiscent of the TV series Star Trek where the crew of Starship Enterprise would land on unknown terrain, many of which were occupied by hostile beings. Though Ravena never takes the reader to these locales, she mentions pirates being in these areas.
References to pirates, an Imperial government, and Jamila’s description about the privileged classes like her father are reflective of the Dark Ages. In fact, Jamila refers to life on Larus as living in the Dark Ages where the women of the privileged classes are expected to marry and have children. This is their sole expectation.
Above all else, My Cyborg Savior is the romance of Jamila and Galen, which Ravena develops over the span of the story. They are an unlikely pair as humans are inclined to destroy free thinking cyborgs, but Ravena makes their match believable. The story concludes with the war between the human race and the free thinking cyborgs at a critical point. The language in the narration has a modern hipster attitude but the romance is classic fantasy.