The combined forces of humanity have beaten back the First Imperium invasion. For the first time, the enemy has been defeated in battle. The cost was high in blood and suffering, but the Line held. The heart of human-occupied space has been saved from annihilation. For now.
There is little time for the victorious warriors to savour their triumph or mourn their dead. The First Imperium has been driven back, but it has not been defeated. No one expects the fruits of victory to be more than a brief respite.
Augustus Garret, Erik Cain, and the rest of the human high command have a decision to make. Do they stand on the defensive, waiting for the massive second invasion they all know will come? Or do they consider another option, one that compels them to face overwhelming odds, and launch a strike that could end the war in one campaign?
The attack ship Hornet returned home after a miraculous run through enemy space, and her crew brought with them priceless intelligence…the location of a world of the First Imperium. In the capitals of Earth, the ruling classes call for caution, for the armed forces to stand on the defensive. But on the frontier, Garret and his compatriots are planning something different, and they do not intend to be deterred. They are going to take the war to the enemy. They are going to march into hell’s heart.
I would say that this book was as good as the previous one in the series but it is dragged down by an ending which is, if not really bad, but at least somewhat unsatisfactory.
The book is quite filled with marine as well as ship-to-ship combat action. Something I would say we have gotten used to from Jay Allan by know. It is all good reading. Admiral Garret and General Cain is doing their best to push the fighting into the First Imperium’s backyard. Something they succeed in doing…at first. At the same time the scientists are desperately trying to get something useful out of the old First Imperium artefacts.
Unfortunately Gavin Stark is still lurking around in the Shadows. This guy as well as the entire sub-plot that revolves around him is really infuriating me. Mankind is facing the prospect of extinction and this asshole still goes around scheming and plotting for personal gain and power and he still have no qualms about murdering the Generals and Admirals that mankind needs to survive. This is just ludicrous and I am afraid that, for me, this drags these books down a lot.
In general the book is a nice and action filled reading…up until the end. Obviously I will not reveal the end but I have to say that I felt it was somewhat unsatisfactory and rushed. I also got bad vibes from the fact that the Stark asshole played a not insignificant role in the last couple of pages. Having said that, I have read a lot worse endings.
If you have enjoyed the series so far I am sure you will enjoy this book.