The Bardomil Empress, eager to avenge the defeat of her Imperial Fleet at the hands of Billy Caudwell, acquires a weapon that can generate super-charged solar flares and incinerate entire planets. Having tested the weapon, the Empress discovers a strategic territorial weakness in Billy’s Alliance and launches the solar flare weapon at Planet Earth as a diversion to a full-scale assault on the Alliance. Billy Caudwell, still trying to stay on top of his dangerous double life, now has to protect Earth and save the Alliance from annihilation.
This book is definitely for the younger audience, but then, who want’s to admit that they are getting old? Not me :-). I knew this book would be for the younger audience after having read the first book, First Admiral, back in April. I did kind of like it though even if the story was a bit childish at times so when I saw that this one was out I thought, what the heck, let’s have a go. I have given it a comparatively high rating but one should remember that it is a young adult category book. If you compare it with books for the more adult audience it would get a much lower rating.
I would say that this book is probably a wee bit better as a book than the first one. The writing are, in many places, a bit more mature. Maybe it’s the author getting more experience. At the same time it kind of lacks the freshness of the first one where Billy Caudwell discovers it’s a big world out there. That’s of course not the fault of the book but a general issue with this type of story.
There’s plenty of action, boyish adventure and some (unhappy) romance as well. The latter which I didn’t care that much about. I actually would have liked it better if the girl would have retained some memory of her little space adventure. Maybe that’s for future books?
Much of the science is of course pure fantasy. The empress is an unbelievable maniac which really annoys me but then it is a book for the younger audience so I guess such excesses are part of the game. The one thing that really nags me though is that the alliance seems to draw on a supply of ships that the Garmurians left behind. That supply must be finite. They cannot continue to wreck their ships without figuring out how to build new ones. But maybe I’m being a bit too adult now 🙂
The bottom line, it’s a quite good book if you take into account the intended age group. I enjoyed it even though I’m probably not in that group.