The ancient prophecy spreads to the colonies of the Alliance and ignites a public debate on the rumor of the coming comet. The origins of the rumor revolve around the dark days of the last war fought on Helios. The prophecy speaks of the return of the ‘Great Enemy’ that will be signaled by the coming of a burning star, when its beasts and machines will devour entire worlds.
Although many see it as no more that a fleeting superstition, the Alliance Senate decides that preemptive measures must be taken to prepare for the return of the Enemy.
Meanwhile, the revolution on Helios has slowed to a stalemate, worsened by a bloody military coup led by Dictator Lyssk and his private security forces. News that they have turned on the civilian population force the Alliance Senate to act. Yet it is not only the Alliance that has an interest in the events unfolding on Helios. Even as the Senate argues on intervention a large alien fleet with more than twenty capital ships and a substantial fighter escort appears and sets course for the planet. With the Narau fleet of dubious loyalty it falls to the newly formed 4th Heavy Strike Group and the elite 2nd Marine Corps Regiment to save the day.
This book continues the story from where the previous one left off. Most things that I liked about the previous books in the series is here. Spartan, the Jötnar, quite a bit of action and so on. I do miss Major Morato who is out of action for the duration of this book but the rest is all there. There are even a couple of capital ship actions to liven things up.
However, sadly enough, the book continues down the path that the 3rd one in the series started on. The races inhabiting Orion space appears to be, mostly, made up of political morons spending more time fighting each other than preparing for the coming of the old enemy. Not only do they engage themselves in treachery, vendettas and manipulation between the races but the Alliance is even dragged into a civil war on Helios.
To me this drags down the book tremendously since most of the fighting do not feel meaningful since it is not against the real enemy and due to political nonsense. It is even against people that should have been allies if these aliens had more than one brain cell. To top it off, thanks to the treachery of one of the previously mentioned asshole races, one of the main bad guys manages to escape at the end of the book which serves as a nice (not really) cliffhanger.
There are a lot to like in these books. It is a shame that it is wasted on all the treachery, vendettas and political nonsense. But then, that is just my personal opinion of course.