The Rhine: Will Mars ever be free? (Harmony Book 1) by R. L. Dean
Gerhard Shultz, the first elected governor of Mars, wants what’s best for his people ...
The colony depends on Earth businesses for goods, but Earth is run by an imperialistic United Nations whose regulations and sanctions are overbearing.
Increasing tensions are only exacerbated by suspicious pirate attacks in the Belt. It is rumored the attacks are the work of the Free Mars Now grassroots movement or privateers paid by the Martian government in defiance of the UN. Recent victims of a pirate attack, Mat and his crew aboard the Sadie, discover evidence that could prove the rumors true.
With the UN squeezing the colony for every dime they can get, and Shultz looking to better the Martian situation, there are deals to be made. No one knows that better than Apex Mining’s CEO, Alexandria Reinhardt, whose Board of Directors has ordered her to sell their ore to the Martians despite a UN embargo. Her plans are more ambitious than simply ignoring government decrees, though.
Will the Free Mars Now movement find a way to release the colony from their 100-year lease to Earth? Can Shultz find a way to work with Earth companies without angering their government? Does Mat possess enough evidence to prove Mars’ disloyalty? And ... in the past what happens when you push a distant colony too far?
"R.L. Dean takes the time to create a series of believable scenarios and atmospheres, whether it be mining ship or relationship: "Mat was worried about her, someone he didn't even know. It was that rare human kindness that made Misaki feel ashamed that she could not ... share, with him. She could not form an attachment. And sitting at the table in the galley beside him she felt a slight waver in her heart, because Mat's idea of a dinner from shipboard MREs was not food but family." From how the FMN movement pulls new recruits into deadly situations to interactions with UN authorities and changing hearts and minds as confrontations escalate on all sides, The Rhine does a fine job of balancing between a military sci-fi read, a political sci-fi story, and a psychological inspection of motivation and action." - Publishers Daily Reviews
"R. L. Dean is impeccable and his skills at painting word pictures is on full display. He easily pulls you into his story, and before you know it your in the deep end of a thought provoking science fiction novel." - Literary Titan ★★★★★