It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen's army. To be chosen is an hoor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proved to the Queen - and to himself - that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.
Another little story, this time offering some insight into one of the characters that occurs in Scarlet. This poor man had no choice about becoming a member of the Queen’s Army but he was lucky insofar as he was not turned into one of the truly horrific monsters that she is also creating.
Some people have been describing these creatures as werewolves but they are, in fact, genetically altered humans. We learn that this is a truly painful experience and takes a lot of getting used to. We follow Ze’ev (or Z) through some of his adjustment and training.
I pity what Ze’ev went through this is just the start of the story. I am sure we will learn so much more about him in the subsequent Scarlet. He does not want to advance to the next level so he must excel at this stage. But he is not a mere puppet to be mind-controlled by the Queen or her thaumaturges although he now has those beast traits he still wants to retain his humanity.
I read this, and the other novels, in the order that the author wrote them (see Glitch review) so before I read Scarlet and I felt that it did enhance that read. If you are a potential Lunar Chronicles fan or even a true fan then this novella is a must.
I really liked this and gave it four stars on Goodreads.