Billy Caudwell, the teenage First Admiral of the Universal Alliance Fleet, has successfully completed the Time Warrior Ritual and stands as Emperor-elect of the Ganthoran Empire.
However, he has little time to savour his triumph. Even as Billy emerges from the Time Warrior Arena, the four remaining Frontier Fleets have mutinied against him under the influence of a mysterious and anonymous shadow Emperor. A sociopathic Frontier Fleet General has occupied the Empire’s capital city, wreaking a terrible vengeance upon his enemies and the civilian population.
With the shattered remains of a Frontier Fleet and a weakened Alliance contingent, Billy Caudwell has to take the biggest gamble of his life. With the fate of an empire at stake, Billy has to risk everything to prevent decades of war and bloodshed.
This book is loaded with combat. Both in space and on the ground. The book takes off directly from the huge cliff hanger of the previous book in the series. I am still somewhat miffed by that cliff hanger by the way. I generally like some form of closure even on books in a series. Anyway, it continues the Zulu battle from the previous one and then it launches straight into some major present time battles both in space and on the ground. Actually, most of the book is combat scenery on one form or another.
This book series started out very much as a young adult story. I mentioned already in my review of the previous instalment that the series started to get more mature. I think the core story is still basic young adult material but the writing is certainly on the mature side. Especially the first parts were the violent clashes between the Zulu’s and the British colonial troops are quite graphical from time to time. Personally I do not mind at all but I guess that some parents that do not want to subject their children for the real world too early might be concerned.
In general I quite liked the book. Sure, there is still a few whoopsies concerning the tech like “fan intakes” on a space ship and the space combat and strategy do perhaps have some holes in them but the action is still enjoyable. The core story also advances nicely. If I should complain about something it would be the soap opera style side story going on with Billy’s parents. It never really seems to go anywhere except developing into some marital drama of little interest. I would also like read about Billy coming back to Earth and really pulling some surprises onto his friends, without the MiB style brain washing afterwards.
Anyway, the famous bottom line is that the book is worthwhile reading, especially if you have read the previous books in the series.