Earth has fallen … and humanity is holding its breath, waiting for the next blow to fall.
On Terra Nova, Earth’s oldest colony world, chaos and anarchy are threatening to break out, with total collapse only one disaster away. In a desperate attempt to save the rest of the Empire, the planet’s Governor has summoned the leaders of the Core Worlds to Terra Nova, in hopes of sharing power and preventing civil war. But dark forces are on the move, intent on ensuring that the conference fails.
As the first strands of a deadly plot are uncovered, Imperial Marshal Glen Cheal finds himself fighting to uncover the plot before it is too late. Meanwhile, on her own mission to save the last best hope for peace, Specialist Belinda Lawson of the Terran Marine Corps is plunged into a nightmare where she can no longer trust her own mind, while her decisions will save or damn the Empire …
Failure isn’t an option. But success may not be an option either …
This is another departure from the main story about Avalon and he Marines there. I was actually expecting not to like the book as much as I usually do with books from Christopher Nuttall since it is a departure from the main story and these society falling down, political scheming and dirty backstabbing stories is not really my cup of tea.
I have to say that I did like it a lot more than I expected. The book is more of a detective/crime story than real military science fiction. As such it is also paced somewhat differently (slower) compared to the more true military action based books in the series.
Belinda Lawson is back and this is a good thing. Unfortunately she is in a bit of a down mood and doubting herself every so often which I was not that thrilled about. Marshal Glen Cheal is a new acquaintance and I quite liked him. Naturally the paths of Glen and Belinda crosses with interesting although not entirely unpredictable results.
As usual the world building and the characters are great which is what makes this such a good reading. My main gripe with this book is that it is yet another rather depressing story about yet another part of the corrupt, bureaucratic empire and its oversized government (I am sure that Nuttall is getting inspiration from the worthless bureaucratic wonkers in EU here) going down and taking billions of clueless people with it. If it was not for the good writing which really compels you to follow the main characters I would have rated this book quite a bit lower. As it stands now, I quite liked it even though it is not on my top ten list of Christopher Nuttall’s works.