An intimate sort of space opera tale, set in a world with a massive scope hinted at around the edges, Chasing Shadows is a thoroughly entertaining read. What K.N. Salustro has crafted here is primarily an interstellar cat and mouse tale involving Fleet Commander Lance Ashburn and the mysterious assassin known only as the Shadow, but there are much broader implications to their actions.
Characterization is strong here, with both heroes and villains having enough depth to come across as human beings living a life, not just genre archetypes playing a role. There's history and back story for them all, and significant development for those as the focus of the tale. Loyalties are tested, beliefs challenged, and individuals forced to accept the dependencies of a universe-spanning empire.
Like I said, the world building is largely hinted at here, but it's clear Salustro has put a lot of thought and effort into the universe. There are political factions within the Fleet itself, on top of the military goals of the various races and empires involved. The cat and mouse chase is very well-done, with the details of assassination well played out, and the larger scale story backs it all up, providing context and significance.
Overall, Chasing Shadows is a fast-paced science fiction thriller that makes the most of the trappings of the space opera genre with some imaginative twists. Well worth the read.
Published August 29th 2014 by Smashwords Edition