Two years after the Empire abandoned them on Avalon, Colonel Edward Stalker and his Marines have established the Commonwealth, a union of worlds intended to take the place of the vanished Empire. But now contact has been made with a remnant of the Empire, a successor state controlled by a ruthless dictator bent on crushing the Commonwealth and expanding her rule over the entire galaxy.
While the Commonwealth frantically prepares for war, a small team of Marines is dispatched to the enemy homeworld with orders to bring down the dictator – by any means necessary …
This book puts the series back on track as far as I am concerned. By back on track I primarily refer to the fact that this book, unlike the previous one, is revolving around Avalon, the marines that got exiled there and the Commonwealth that they have now established. I know that he author intended to make a detour with that book but I have never really liked those kind of books that stray away from the main thread and characters.
This book however is right back to where it should be for me. The familiar characters are back to fight off the latest threat to the Commonwealth and the safety of Avalon. I have to say that, when reading the book blurb, I was hoping that there would be a wee bit more fleet action than there actually are. Something like the Commonwealth surprising the bad guys with a new ship design free from the technological stagnation imposed by the Empire and proceeding to perform a bit of arse-whooping. Instead the book is almost entirely centered on the team of marines that are inserted to bring down the dictators regime from within. There is of course plenty of action going on but more or less all of it is down on the planet that the dictator have made into her primary planet.
As usual it is solid writing, good characters (including those on the side of the “bad guys”) and a well done plot which makes for an enjoyable reading experience. Also as usual, the author goes into quite a bit of detail when it comes to the mechanics of society, politics and how to run, not to run, and manipulate people and nations. Normally not my favorite topic but Mr. Nuttall makes a good job of it and he manages to keep my interest going throughout the book…again.
Needless to say the next one in the series have gone onto my to-read shelf already.