Currently numbering nine Member Races and over twenty Candidate Races that populate several hundred worlds throughout the Hope Galaxy, the Galactic Worlds Alliance is a constantly expanding entity with over two thousand years of history. But something is amiss along the ever-expanding Frontier of the Alliance… Ominous whisperings of grim events begin to surface and echo throughout portions of Fleet and the civilian population. Rumors persist about whole colonies that disappear without a trace, but the Senate and Fleet echelon steadfastly deny anything out of the ordinary.
Facing opposition and procrastination from a Congress frozen by fear, the Chief of Intelligence takes action, declaring an emergency along the Frontier. Short on resources along the border worlds, he is forced by circumstances to conscript an old friend – a civilian shuttle pilot and part-time living legend – into Fleet service with special orders: Investigate the mysterious incidents along the Frontier and track the events to their source… at all costs.
Now, in an effort to save the border worlds Pilot Baran Igashu must set out with an elite, handpicked team on a hazardous mission to unfamiliar and unknown destinations. But their perilous journey might very well uncover an ancient menace so evil and irrepressible that it threatens to annihilate the whole of the known galaxy, leaving no trace their civilization ever existed…
This is a book that was not really on my to-read list. I stumbled onto it when I browsed Amazon’s “People who bought this book also bought…” recommendations for one of my previous books. I have to say that I am very happy that I decided to read it. It is definitely one of the better books that I have read in quite some time.
This is a comparatively large book. According to Amazon’s estimate it is 407 pages but I think they have used a rather small font size when doing that estimate since it is much larger than most other books claiming 300+ pages. It is all worth reading though. The world building is quite detailed and very good. Some readers seem to have problems with the amount of detail that went into the world building and it is true that sometimes the author drones on about details a bit too much but it is well written and I did not really find it a major problem and I am normally quite negative towards authors filling out their books with bla bla.
The characters are interesting and there is a lovely dry humor in the book. The mysterious hero, Baran Igashu, is a man with many secrets. At times he remembered me of the main characters in some of Alistair McLean’s books. Capable, always a step ahead of everyone else, quick tongue and not really what he seemed to be from the start.
A lot of the book is spent on setting the stage for the main story, introducing the universe and the characters, and this is written in a way that, to me at least, made for a very enjoyable read even though these parts are normally the, I would not say boring but at least, less interesting parts of a book. That does not mean that there are no action in the book. There is action as well as mystery and suspense and it is all very well written.
The book was really sucking me in and I always wanted to continue “just a few more pages” when reading it. I will most definitely read the next one in the series.