Science Fiction


Ages 13 & Up

Author’s Worldview


Year Published



Politics, Prejudice, Just War Theory, Death Penalty, Hidden Church, Persecution


Reviewed by


After an act of terrorism by an illegal fringe group rocks his world, Randall Yung vows to chase the murderer across the vastness of the galactic empire and brave any hardship for justice. This illegal organization just happens to be the Catholic Church, and his prey, an ace pilot ferrying secret priests to far flung planetary colonies. What follows is a nail-biting man hunt. Both Randall and the pilot are likable empathetic characters. Even though Randall is hunting Catholics, he is a good man. The son of a wealthy family, he, like St. Francis of Assisi, leaves his family’s wealth and corruption behind and devotes himself to his job in criminal justice where he hopes to change the galaxy’s corruptions from within and bring justice to those less fortunate. The devastation of life that happens during the terrorist attack at the start of the book sends him into a spiral of grief and depression. But as he gets closer to his prey he finds solace from that grief in the most unlikely of sources: his enemy.

This man hunt is full of close-calls and moments where it is uncertain who has the upper hand. I could not put this down and binge read it in a week. Because both sides of this hunt are represented by such charismatic characters I scarcely knew who to root for. It reminded me a lot of the movie The Fugitive for that reason. The wider world of rusty starships, backwater planets and shady intergalactic politics reminded me of worlds like The Expanse or Firefly.

As Randall hunts his prey across the galaxy, he cannot help but be changed by his encounters with this clandestine group. In another author’s hands his character arc could have slipped so easily in cheese and melodrama but Keiser knows what she is doing. Randall’s change is slow, painful and well earned.

Fans of Arthur C. Clarke, The Expanse and Firefly/Serenity will love this story. If you like your sci-fi character driven and with a little more rust on your spaceship than chrome pick up a copy. Given the explicitly pro-Catholic-against-the-repressive-government theme, I was at first hesitant about whether this would be a novel that non-Catholic readers would enjoy so I introduced it to one of my un-churched friends. I am happy to report that I was wrong. She found the premise intriguing and told me she thought that people from many different oppressed groups would instead find much to empathize with. That said, if you are looking for an apologetics style case for the church, this is not the book for you. The story’s strengths lie in keeping firmly within the point of view of one character undergoing a profound and even painful change of heart, as he learns to see past the prejudices he was raised with and find his way to true interior humility and compassion.

My only disappointment is that this is Keiser’s debut novel and there isn’t another book by Keiser I can sink my teeth into immediately. Regardless this is one author to keep an eye on.

Get Catholic Books & eBooks for as little as $1 to FREE

I am Margaret by Corinna Turner

A dystopian nightmare that asks what you really believe and how far will you go to defend it.

Infernal Affairs by Declan Finn

St. Tommy finally comes face-to-face with the warlock that has been behind the events of the previous two books while fighting off hordes of everything from gangsters to vampires.

Old Man & The Void by Karina Fabian

When Dex decides to catch the treasure of a century, he is pulled into a black hole and must fight the robotic ghosts of an alien war.

The Lost Vessel by Mark Adderley

McCracken joins a treasure hunt for Captain Nemo’s lost ship in this exciting adventure that adds another chapter to Jules Verne’s greatest creation.

Demons are Forever by Declan Finn

Marco flees from his fears of hurting Amanda by taking a job to train Vampire Hunters in San Francisco. Should be a quiet job right?

Brave Water by Sarah Robsdottir

What if you had to risk your life for a simple cup of water?

The Dunes by A.R.K. Watson

“The Dunes” raises questions that are relevant in any marriage: not just for the creepy, otherworldly couple who venture onto a lonely island to set up camp near prehistoric sand dunes for the last time.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas is a fry cook who is haunted by Elvis, sees demons, fights evil and provides a remarkably grounded picture of a man on the path to sainthood.

Death Cult by Declan Finn

St. Tommy continues his fight against the death cult, battling Voodoo priests and zombies along the way.

Hussar by Declan Finn (St. Tommy NYPD Book 8)

It’s been a few years since St. Tommy saved the world. Now his son Jeremy and ward Lena have joined the fight.

Through the Ashes by Jacqueline Brown

Fans of The 100 and Runaway’s and The Gifted will find this YA story riveting.

The Bishop of 12th Avenue by Ray Lucit

A street kid gets ordained a Bishop in a post apocalyptic world. Talk about a shakeup in the priesthood.

A Printer’s Choice by W.L. Patenaude

The first nation in space has sworn off religion, but now they need the help of Fr. McCellan to solve a murder and save them from religious terrorists.

A Very Jurassic Christmas by Corinna Turner

Christmas with Jurassic dinosaurs is often wild!

Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

In a post-apocolyptic world a small Catholic monastery fights to preserve civilization for the next age.

Strange Matter by Brian Niemeier

Ready for the end of the world, battle mechs, and body swaps? This collection of short stories has it all.

Gifts Visible and Invisible

If you are looking for a cozy read to get into the Christmas cheer, this collection has it all.

Soul Cycle books I – IV: by Brian Niemeier

In a evil universe a band of space pirates begin a journey of revenge that instead takes them in search of the true, the good and the beautiful.

Ad Limina by Cy Kellet

The Bishop of Mars faces intergalactic espionage on his journey from the frontier of space to the ancient halls of the Vatican.

The City and The Dungeon by Matthew P. Schmidt

Who knew fighting monsters in a D&D dungeon could convince him that not everything can be attributed to a chance roll of the dice?