The Third Frontier War is raging, and all across human-occupied space worlds are burning. Massive fleets struggle for dominance and kilometer-long war ships exchange thermonuclear barrages.
Battered in the early years of the war, the Western Alliance is resurgent. The brilliant Admiral Augustus Garret leads the Alliance fleet from victory to victory, taking the war to the very heart of the enemy empires. And on the ground, Colonel Erik Cain, hero of the Marine Corps, leads his crack troops again into combat, seeking the final battle.
In the background, the secretive intelligence agencies of the despotic Superpowers plot and scheme, using their own soldiers as pawns in the great game for control of space.
But the final battle will be fought in the reddish sands of a backwater world, and the prize will be the staggering secret that has lain hidden in a remote cave for untold centuries.
All the Powers struggle for the ultimate victory, but at what cost?
Parts of this book is much better than the first one in the series and first one was fairly good. However, parts of this book is, in my opinion, much worse as well. The parts that are better, well that is simply a fact. The writing of the author have improved substantially from the, sometimes boring, report style telling of facts that was present in the first book. The parts that are worse, well that is more due to my personal taste than any fault of the authors writing. I will get to that.
As I said, the writing is definitely improved. The storytelling is not as dull. It is quite enjoyable to read the parts with Eric Cain in them and how he rapidly moves up in the ranks and gets more and more responsibility. I also really like the character of General Holm. There are a fair bit of action in the book and this time we get some real fleet action in space as well which I of course liked a lot. Eric gets to see his favorite doctor again as well.
So, what about the “much worse” stuff? Well, as I said this is more a matter of personal taste. This book ventures a lot into the area of space (soap) opera, politics and treachery. The corrupt Earth government, which I did not really like already in the first book, plays a much bigger role. Not only that but the book is really going over the top with the “badness” of this. The politicians appears to have no qualms whatsoever of slaughtering millions of their own people, even their own troops, and goes as far as to scheme to eliminate their best commanders in the middle of a war just to gain more power.
I really really really hated those parts of the book. I normally do not like politics and scheming and this book is just full of the worst and most outrageous kind of this. I would have liked to give this book a lot higher rating due to the improvements in the writing and the space action but this just put me off so much that I found myself speed-reading through these parts towards the end of the book.
The next book have the encouraging title of “A Little Rebellion” which gives me some hope of these politician bastards getting disposed of so I have not given up on this book series yet but, for me, the series certainly took a downturn. However, if you are not put off with politics then this book should be nothing but an improvement from the first one.