Books Marines Military Science Fiction Space Opera

Machine Gods – Enjoyable continuation of the series

Machine GodsMachine Gods (Star Crusades Nexus, #2) by Michael G. Thomas
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

After decades of war, the Alliance reached the Orion Nebula and discovered the advanced but shattered remnants of the T’Kari. People and ships are diverted to this rich area of space to continue its exploration and exploitation. At the same time a secretive faction of the T’Kari, known simply as the Raiders unleash attacks on any ships or facilities left unguarded, be it human or T’Kari.

A special operation against a Raider ship by elite commandos led by Spartan from the APS Corporation is the catalyst for something much greater. The simple operation quickly leads to disaster as the ship vanishes through an unknown Rift with Spartan and his team still onboard. With this disappearance, the T’Kari offer information that will change the lives of both races forever, the location of the mysterious star system known as Helios. This almost mythical central nexus is used by all known sentient beings to travel through the stars.

A grand expedition of civilian and military ships is formed to travel to the most important location in the Galaxy. Little do they know that something terrible and violent awaits them, something that has waited centuries for this very moment of weakness. If the Alliance military fails, then a darkness will fall upon Helios and every world connected to it, a darkness that will leave entire planets barren and sterile.

This is the second book in the Star Crusades Nexus series. I would say that this book is on the same level as the previous book. That is, a good reading but not fantastic. When this books starts it kind of jumps ahead in time and just skips over a bunch of events. For instance, Spartan’s security company is in trouble, not by any fault of him but by the usual political meddling into private business. This entire jump ahead business bugged me a bit. I have to say that it got me off to a bit of a bad start.

The parts of the book revolving around the Jötnar and Spartan are quite enjoyable though, as in the previous book, and there are a fair amount of action in this book as well. Most of it is down on one of the moons in the Orion Nebula though. Also, as with the previous book, it feels like it is jumping around a bit without a clear thread. Actually, the entire plot is somewhat dubious at times but it comes together to an enjoyable read anyway. It has enough forward momentum to make you want to see where it goes.

The book doesn’t have much of a conclusion. You get the feeling that the book is just part one of what could very well have been a single larger book. Actually, these books are not very long and they could probably have benefited by the author not trying to get them out as quickly but rather write longer books and take the time to go through the book, the plot and the pacing an extra time to make sure everything is coherent.

Anyway, the book was enjoyable and made me want to go on reading the series.

Oh by the way, why the bloody hell did the artist of the book cover decide to show a semi modern, clearly atmospheric, bomber or attack craft against the backdrop of what clearly looks like the command tower of a ancient vet navy battle ship? Artistic freedom and all that but come on…

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