The Twelve Systems Bundle: The Cartel & Bright Star The Twelve Systems Bundle: The Cartel & Bright Star

The Twelve Systems Bundle: The Cartel & Bright Star

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Publisher Description

Science fiction romantic suspense from award-winning author EG Manetti. With all the intrigue of Game of Thrones and the action-adventure of Battlestar Galactica, The Twelve Systems Chronicles blend science fiction with romance, suspense, action, and adventure for an addictive read.

“With characters that jump off the page, love that is forbidden yet unstoppable mixed with top-notch worlds and technology, sci-fi has never looked so good or become so addictive! “ ~ InD'Tale Magazine

Five-stars. The world-building in this science fiction romance series is absolutely phenomenal. . . Lillian is brilliant. She is fierce and smart and vulnerable and endearing. ~ Paranormal Romance Guild

Step into a universe where duty is a double-edged sword honed by passion. Love isn't just a battlefield—it's an entire galaxy.


She would give anything to protect her family… including her mind and body.

Lilian’s bright future was destroyed with a single, devastating stroke—her family name erased, their cartouche melted, and their property forfeited. Destitute and desperate, she is determined to survive and protect what remains of her family—no matter what she must do.

Lucius Mercio is the preeminent warrior of his cartouche, and the cartel it dominates; the Serengeti Group. Ruthless, clever, and ambitious, Lucius’ wealth, influence, and power are exceeded by few within the Twelve Systems. It is not sufficient. Lucius needs Lilian… and he needs her alive.

Lilian has agreed to become Lucius’ apprentice. For three years, he will train her for a position in the cartels. In return, Lilian will yield him absolute control of her mind and body. It is a bargain with the devil and one she hopes she does not regret.

Thrust together, the two will face a future filled with uncertainties. Lucius understands the dangers, but does Lilian?


Her path to redemption depends on one man.

Lilian’s trials have barely begun in a galaxy that is both exhilarating and terrifying. If she is to avoid execution for her father’s crimes and protect what is left of her family, Lilian must embrace her one chance at survival as the apprentice of the powerful warrior Lucius Mercio. As dangerous as he is intriguing, the man she hopes will be her salvation, could be her downfall. To survive, she will need to discover reserves of courage, wit, and determination.

Lucius intends to catapult his cartel to the heights of power and Lilian’s role in his plans is critical to his ambitions. As his rivals increase in number and ferocity, Lucius is torn between his growing fascination with Lilian and the recognition that she may be his weakest link. Lucius will do whatever it takes to protect Lilian from those who would use her… but, who will protect him?

Lilian's growing attraction to Lucius is as unexpected as it is dangerous when secrets she thought well-hidden begin to emerge and threaten to destroy Lucius' slowly developing trust.

Journey deeper into the Twelve Systems as a love that is forbidden, yet unstoppable, draws Lilian and Lucius deeper into a world fraught with danger, intrigue, and a touch of the inexplicable.

EG Manetti has always enjoyed a vivid imagination and occasional scribbling. Manetti is a two-time RONE Award winner for Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy.


The Cartel: The Apprentice, Volume 1
Bright Star: The Apprentice, Volume 2
Transgressions: The Apprentice, Volume 3
Fortuna: The Apprentice, Volume 4
Serengeti Valor: The Apprentice, Volume 5
Nightingale: The Apprentice, Volume 6
Bond Proof: The Apprentice, Volume 7
Chalice Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 1
Shield Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 2
Thorn Bearer: Thornraven, Volume 3

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
December 12
Buniac Entertainment, LLC
Buniac Entertainment, LLC

Customer Reviews

quilts4u2 ,

Didn’t care for It

I just couldn’t stay interested it. It seemed to wander around just filling up space. I just bored reading it. I even put it away for a bit and came back to it twice. Sorry.

QV Bennett ,

Fascinating world

I wanted to read this book because of its Dune-like elements. An indispensable substance called Vistrite is controlled by a single cartel, and the cartels compete with each other for dominance. It reminded of the spice in Dune. The author does a great job building her world – its classes, history, even a bit of religion, and I thought the formal language worked because the world has such a rigid hierarchy.

I’m so partial to this kind of thing that I read the book despite the presence of my most-hated trope: the sexually enslaved woman. Now I love sexy times in my books, but I can’t buy a woman having mind-blowing sex when her bodily autonomy has been stolen from her. Yes, I recognize this trope is popular, and I tend not to discount an otherwise entertaining book because of my personal tastes. At least in this book, there are a few scenes in the beginning where Lilian, the main character, views her sessions with the man who “owns” her as a duty, something to be endured. Also, in this world, men are enslaved too, which makes it an element of class and culture rather than gender.

Besides, enslaved women can be great characters, which is certainly the case here. Lilian is the scion of a powerful family brought low by the crimes of her father. She has to pay for his crimes by being indentured to the cartel. She’s bizarrely passive for a woman raised to be a leader, but her strength comes through endurance. I admired her iron-willed stoicism. She’s also brilliant and hyper-competent.

The man who owns Lilian’s “bond” isn’t developed much as character until later in the book, but a complex story in a complex world can take a long time to tell, and this series has a lot of volumes. The Cartel is a fine first installment. A major bit of intrigue is left unresolved, but it’s a good set up.

That said, I would have enjoyed a little more action. In one plotline Lilian discovers something fishy happening in the cartel’s mining operations. The way the author constructed and resolved the scheme was some of her best world-building, logical and realistic. It was great, but the resolution was too static for me. I have a high tolerance for exposition, but I found myself itching for something with more bite. Mostly, the plotline wrapped up with discussions about archived records and things that happened off camera, so to speak. Although the story got much livelier near the end on almost every front, and left me looking forward to the second installment.

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More Books by E.G. Manetti

The Cartel The Cartel
Bright Star Bright Star
Bond Proof Bond Proof
Nightingale Nightingale
Fortuna Fortuna
The Twelve Systems Trio The Twelve Systems Trio