The Empire – a tyranny stretching over thousands of worlds. The grand dreams of the founders are a joke. The Thousand Families, the rulers of the Empire, care nothing for anything, save their own power. From the undercity of Earth to the new colonies at the Rim, discontent, anger and rebellion seethe, but there is no hope of breaking the power of the Empire and freeing the trillions of enslaved humans and aliens.
The Rebel – Commander Colin Walker believed in the Empire, until a treacherous superior officer betrayed him, forcing him to see the true nature of the force he served and his compliancy in terrible crimes. Now, Colin has a plan; he and his followers in the Imperial Navy will seize their ships and rebel against the Thousand Families, uniting the thousands of rebel factions under his leadership. Their war will set the galaxy on fire …
After having spent some time reading books from other authors I recently went back and attacked my rather long list of unread works from Christopher Nuttall. As usual it was an enjoyable experience. Actually this time it was perhaps even more so than usual since this book was just my cup of tea.
The setting is one that is perhaps not too unusual when it comes to this author. An oppressive government/empire squeezes the life out of their citizens and things are about to break. Naturally this is where “a few good men” comes in and saves the day. Of course, saving the day do not mean stopping things from breaking. Rather the inverse actually. It is time to make sure that things do break so that it can be reworked in a less oppressive manner.
There are some similarities to Nuttall’s The Empire’s Corps series (I have only read the first two in that series though, the rest are on my list) and judging from the book blurb also to at least one other book from the author that I have not yet read. However, as far as I am concerned, this book starts off and continues in a much more positive manner than The Empire’s Corps which is one reason that I really liked it. Our heroes starts off by kicking the butts of the imperial dimwits and continues to do so throughout the book. That is not to say that everything always goes the way of the good guys but compared to the exile business in The Empire’s Corps this one is much more happy story…so far at least.
The book also contains a fair amount of good and solid fleet action with capital ships slugging it out. That is one of my favorite kind of stories and obviously another reason why I like the book. The fleet action is quite well done and as realistic as one can expect from a work of science fiction. I really did enjoy these parts of the book. The Geeks, a faction of humans, outlawed by the Empire, that are tech centric, is a nice addition to the combat equation as well. Although their contribution to the war effort was limited compared to what was hinted to in the book as future possibilities it was already significant. I would really like to see the Geeks give the Imperial dimwits and their overinflated egos a few more surprises. I quite like these wow-moments.
Mr. Nuttall have always been able to write characters that I liked (at least in the books that I have read so far) and which have attracted my interest. This book is no exception. The good guys are likable and the bad guys are as despicable as they should be. Speaking of the bad guys, this is another thing I really liked about this book. The bad guys (well, at least the main bad guy in this instalment of the series) do get the ass-whopping that they deserve and it is not just quickly glossed over either.
I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Usually I try to flip back and forth between authors and between Science Fiction and Fantasy to make my reading a bit diversified but this time I just have to read the next instalment right away.