Admiral Geary’s First Fleet of the Alliance has survived the journey deep into unexplored interstellar space, a voyage that led to the discovery of new alien species, including a new enemy and a possible ally. Now Geary’s mission is to ensure the safety of the Midway Star System, which has revolted against the Syndicate Worlds empire—an empire that is on the brink of collapse.
To complicate matters further, Geary also needs to return safely to Alliance space not only with representatives of the Dancers, an alien species, but also with Invincible, a captured warship that could possibly be the most valuable object in human history. Despite the peace treaty that Geary must adhere to at all costs, the Syndicate Worlds regime threatens to make the fleet’s journey back grueling and perilous.
And even if Geary escorts Invincible and the Dancers’ representatives safely unharmed, the Syndics’ attempts to spread dissent and political unrest may have already sown the seeds of the Alliance’s destruction…
About a year ago when I had read the previous book in the Beyond The Frontier series by Jack Campbell I was a little bit disappointed. I thought that the author didn’t really have any new ideas but just got bogged down more and more in (bad) politics, deceit and backstabbing a’la cheap soap opera. Sadly enough I feel that this book is pretty much more of the same.
The parts of the book where Geary and his fleet is trying to get back home with the captured alien ship, not to mention the live aliens that are following them, and the action this entails are nice reading for sure. However it is a very similar scenario as the original series. Fleet stranded in Syndic space tries to get home and the Syndics are doing their best to prevent it. Been there, read that.
After the fleet actually does get home around the two thirds mark or a little more the book really becomes boring with more or less nothing but politics or various dialogs about the repercussions of politics, past actions or future actions. It becomes a little bit more interesting at the very end and there are certainly some elements at the end which would be interesting if they were taken further in the next book, if there will be a next book. However given that the author have continuously shown a preference for the political aspects and forcing Geary to often have to overcome pure idiocy among the Alliance itself rather than external military threats I will continue to have my expectations on these books set somewhere on a fairly average level.
It is good books if you like this type of story. The combat parts and the fairly realistic tactical maneuvering are really good and is what have made me continue to read them. The rest I am not so thrilled about. The end, well I can say very little about it without actually revealing it but I have to say that I was somewhat underwhelmed.