The war with the First Imperium is over, and Grand Fleet is limping home from the frontier. Erik Cain, Augustus Garret, and the rest of the high command are grimly satisfied that humanity has been saved from the First Imperium menace. There is no joy, however…no elation at the “victory.” The losses this time were too heavy…too personal…to bear. They did what had to be done to drive back the enemy and save the human worlds from certain destruction. Now they were left to find a way to live with the gut wrenching decisions that victory had required.
Augustus Garret needed time. Time for repairs, time to replace losses, time to learn how to go on in the aftermath of what he’d done. But the fleet wasn’t heading for a well-deserved rest…they were moving into another firestorm. A new menace, one as deadly as the First Imperium, was waiting for them, and it threatened to shatter the fragile alliance of the Earth powers and throw all of human space into another desperate war…one that might be the final confrontation.
On world after world, mysterious forces are invading, taking control of the most vital colonies. The invaders are well-drilled powered infantry, veteran forces that quickly shattered the planetary militias and established brutal occupation regimes.
Garret, Cain, and the leaders of the Alliance’s forces must rally themselves once again to face this new threat…an unknown enemy that is as well trained, experienced, and equipped as the Marines themselves. Indeed, on some colony worlds rumors are already spreading that the invaders are the Marines themselves, that they have come to conquer, to rule…
I bought this book as soon as it came out since I have quite liked the rest of the series, especially The Line Must Hold, but then I have hesitated to actually start reading it. Why? Well, I was pretty sure that I was not really going to like the story itself very much…and I was right.
This book is all about that f…. psychopath Stark. It could just as well be titled The Return of Stark or Stark Strikes Back or something like that. I really really hate this guy. I hate scheming, plotting, conspiracies and backstabbing and this guy is the personification of all that with a huge unhealthy dose of psychopathy.
The previous book was positive. Humanity beat off the First Imperium, even though the cost was high, and the warring superpowers united towards a common goal. In this book Stark is ripping all that apart. I was squirming in my chair the entire time I was reading this book.
I am sure that some people are going to say that my rating is unfairly low and that the book is really much better. In some respect that is probably correct, it is a very well written book, but it is my personal rating. I am not a professional reviewer and what I actually felt about the story itself and how it fits with my personal desires are part of my reviews.
If I try to look past my dislike for the story itself this book is indeed, as I wrote above, a well written book. The characters are well done and the marine action is great. If you are into conspiracies and all that bundled with a good chunk of marine action you should by this book. You are probably going to find it a great book.
Myself, well as I wrote above I am not too thrilled about this book in the series. I am still looking forward to the next book in the series though since I am so hoping that Stark eventually gets what he deserves and that his downfall will be long, detailed and excruciatingly painful…for Stark.