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The Black Rift. Good conclusion of the series although it had some tragic elements.

The Black RiftThe Black Rift (Star Crusades Nexus, #9) by Michael G. Thomas
My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

The Prophecy of Fire has revealed itself in the shape of the great machine enemy, the Biomechs. Their limitless numbers of ships, soldiers, and creatures are ready for the war to end wars. Each of them waits patiently for their chance to come through the unstable Black Rift under the command of their remarkable new ally. A glimpse of this world-ending force has already been seen, and it has led to a series of disasters on many worlds. Even the stalwart defenders of humanity begin to look inwards, and for a leader that can save them from the fury of the machines. Few doubt the Biomechs’ resolve, but there is now little remaining to guard the ancient gateway to the domain of the enemy.

As the allies wait for the arrival of the hated machines, they are forced to defend the burned out worlds of Eos, Spascia, and Helios Prime. The outcast Biomechs of the Nexus hear the call of their kin, and hurl themselves at every ship and soldier in a final bloody assault that could end the war in a matter of days. The allied forces of six different races cling to their trenches and earthworks in massive sieges, while in space the fleet fights bloody engagements that leaves hundreds of ships in ruins.

The inhabitants of the Nexus finally realize that the Prophecy of Fire was true, and when the Black Rift finally opens, there might be little left for the few remaining warriors to fight for.

Combat, combat and then some more combat. If you are not a fan of combat of all kinds then this is not a book for you. As a matter of fact, the entire series is not for you. I want a fair amount of action in my books but even I felt this one was sometimes a wee bit too much and occasionally it felt like little more than a continuous combat episode with a few interludes.

It is a good book though and brings the Star Crusades Nexus series to a decent conclusion although there are parts of this conclusion, which I will of course not divulge here, that are a wee bit on the tragic side.

Spartan plays a huge role of course although I did not really like him being separated from the rest of our human heroes not to mention him playing the role of a traitor. Even though the final conclusion is, as I wrote earlier, a generally satisfactory one I really had a hard time with this part.

As if the Biomechs were not enough of a problem the author threw in some dissent between the humans, a insane president and an attempt at a coup just to add to the excitement. I really do not like backstabbing and deceitful politicians and I would have been quite happy if the book had just dealt with the Biomechs.

These two things is mainly what, to me, drags down the rating a wee bit. Otherwise the book was well done. The combat was as good as it usually have been in these books, which of course means that it was quite good. There is certainly not much slowdowns in this book. It moves ahead at a brisk pace to say the least and it is action almost all the way.

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