New Praetorians: Sienna McKnight

36264866Author: R.K. Syrus
Category: Superheroes, Military Fantasy
Pages: 286

I received this book via Netgalley and the publisher for in exchange for an honest review.


Sienna McKnight is a West Point graduate. From the moment of her shocking birth at military hospital she has carried a dark secret, and a yearning for vengeance.

The book opens when Sienna is a young girl being trained by her Uncle Bryan in combat and survival then flashes forward to her as an adult and relatively newly graduated from West Point preparing to go on a mission.

At times, I really enjoyed this book. The first chapter where Sienna was a child and the middle part where sh*t hits the fan were, I felt, the best parts of the story.

I liked the first chapter because I felt that it laid some groundwork for Sienna’s character to be one that is incredibly resourceful and skilled at assessing a dangerous situation. The middle parts that I enjoyed were for similar reasons; Sienna’s resourcefulness was put to the test and we began to see her abilities as a “superheroine.”

That said I really didn’t “click” with this story.

Most of this is because I just didn’t fully understand what was going on. What I did understand, I felt like I was having to piece together myself from inferences made in off-hand comments. I felt like I spent way too much of the book going “okay, but why?”

Sienna’s mother was attacked by madman with a knife when she was nearing the end of her pregnancy. While the attack killed her mother, baby Sienna managed to be saved but with some horrible scarring. Thus begins Sienna’s quest for vengeance. This I understood. But I understood that the attacker was pretty much an unknown so I didn’t get Sienna’s determination to go on this particular mission as part of that vengeance quest.

Then there is this whole plot with Russians and (maybe?) aliens that was so under-explained that I could not tell you what significance it had on the story.

With all of this confusion, I wasn’t really able to focus on the characters, to get to know Sienna or her team. I think this book has a solid story within it but it just needed more time spent on setting up the backstory that played such a prominent role in the plot.

It should be noted that, as mentioned, I was offered this book by the publisher. I don’t know if this was a book that I would have tried out on my own because I am typically not into the techno-thriller genre but I was intrigued by the way this seems to be leading up to an Avengers-style story. Perhaps if I was more into this genre to begin with, I would have enjoyed it more.



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