The aliens attacking the planetary system of Alwa are an enemy unlike any Admiral Kris Longknife has ever encountered before. She doesn’t know who they are, only that they worship a being known as the Enlightened One and are unafraid to sacrifice themselves against her fleet.
But Kris faces more than just the fanatical behavior of an alien armada. A saboteur has infiltrated the military’s medical facility and unleashed an epidemic that has spread throughout the fleet without warning.
Seventy-two career military women are down with something not even the aliens could do to them—including Admiral Kris Longknife…
I have to admit that it was a long time since I read the first couple of Kris Longknife books and my memory may be a bit hazy on those. However, I do think that this is one of the better books in the series. At least it is a “my cup of tea” kind of book.
In this book Kris is pretty much in charge instead of constantly being pushed around which I really like. She does make good use of it as well. Not bad use but good.
The insane and fanatical aliens are knocking on the doorstep and Kris has to prevent them from braking the door down. There are plenty of good action in this book. In particular there are plenty of good fleet action.
It also has a lot of build up, logistics etc… although due to the use of fabbers, nanites, smart metal and these kind of sci-fi goodies it is perhaps done in a somewhat simplistic way. Ships are reconfigured, even recycled and rebuilt into something completely different, at the snap of a finger. Yes I know that in the book it takes a few months to actually do it but still… Having said that I did like it though. It is sci-fi after all.
The middle of the book has a few slow downs. I am not sure that I like this “epidemic” part of the story and all the bla bla that came with it. I am pretty sure that I did not like the guy that caused it. I cannot describe what I feel about that asshole without being blacklisted all over the internet. Let us just say that I thought his punishment was way to weak. But then I would probably say that about any kind of punishment anyone could dream up that did not border on the supernatural (you knew, being eternally roasted over the fires of hell and all that).
Chris also has to deal with a whole bunch of logistical and human problems from people that apparently thinks it is more important to have a good life than to stave of an invasion of fanatical aliens who’s only purpose in life seems to be to exterminate anyone who is not them. I always gets riled up by these kind of nincompoops.
The end? Well Kris survives and she does so victoriously. However then the author throws in a twist which causes the book to end in a pretty huge cliff-hanger. I am not sure that I liked that very much. It felt too much like he did not know where he wanted to go with the next book so he just screwed up things for Kris in a generic way and left it at that.