The Web, a vast machine intelligence of unbelievable power, is steadily consuming the galaxy, indifferent to any species that stands in its way. Fighting the Web brings together an alliance between disparate societies and alien civilizations to stand against it in battle. And overcoming the Web means discovering where it came from and what goals drive its single-minded advance, and learning what the future holds for intelligent life in the universe. The Warstrider series draws to a close with this final epic struggle for the fate of the galaxy.
Oh nooooo…time travel. I really hate when they bring in time travel on books or movies. In most cases it is just a shoddy writer who cannot tie the story together without braking a few rules. Even if it is a good writer it almost always ends up with paradoxes and other story destroying elements. Ian Douglas is not a shoddy writer but, for me, the time travel did nothing positive for this book anyway.
In general the book felt a bit different from the previous books. It starts off nicely enough by throwing the reader straight into a warstrider battle on the Web’s home turf. However, then the book changes somewhat and dives into a lot of talk and discussions about intelligence (especially collective) , biological evolution, artificial minds and so on. It is all very well written as usual but it does change the nature and, in particular, the pace of the book quite a lot.
The artificial “Mastermind” that evolved during the last parts of the previous book also plays a fairly important role in this book. In particular when the Web decided to go on the offensive. Unfortunately, towards the end of the book there are two primary story elements that I am not to happy with. One is time travel which I have already expressed my views on and the other is the arrogant Hegemony’s desire to reintegrate the Confederation into the Hegemony, by force if required. The human race is fighting for its survival and some idiots continue to fight among themselves? That kind of story always annoys me.
This is the final book in the Warstrider series and I must say that I was underwhelmed with the ending. There are really no ending at all. Just a glimpse of some glorious future thanks to this bloody time travel nonsense. I definitely had higher hopes for this final chapter in the series.