Now a celebrated war hero, Captain Kat Falcone is back at the helm of HMS Lightning…and up against near-impossible odds. After an ill-timed outburst almost ends her career, Kat is handed command of a deep-strike mission into enemy space. The objective is to gather intelligence and distract the hostile Theocracy while the Commonwealth prepares its counteroffensive.
The chances for success are slim—and for survival even slimmer.
Armed with a ragtag fleet of outdated starships, a few loyal officers, and a skeleton crew of refugees, Kat knows the Royal Navy expects her to fail. But failure almost certainly means death—or worse, as the Theocracy does not treat prisoners kindly. Pitted against the enemy defenses of her old nemesis Admiral Junayd, there is no room for error. And with a spy hidden aboard her ship, Kat will need more than her wits to survive. Can Kat enter the lion’s den, strike a blow for the Commonwealth, and escape with her life?
Like the first instalment in this book series from Christopher Nuttall this book is my cup of tea. The adventures of Captain Kat Falcone and the war against the religious fanatics in the Theocracy continues at a brisk pace. Kat is already a war hero and it is safe to say that she adds to that reputation in this book.
As the book blurb states Kat has somewhat of an outburst at a gathering with a lot of high brass, lords and political dimwits. Well, outburst and outburst. She tells a particular stupid, incompetent and arrogant dimwit exactly what he should be told. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, said dimwit have connections high up among the “noble” society of political dimwits which renders her position a bit precarious. To say that it ends her career…well that is a bit of an overstatement to put it mildly since, luckily, Mr. Nuttall has balanced the political dimwits with a number of characters that actually have something else than hot air between their ears. People who also wields some power.
Thus Kat is given a command, although officially the story is another one to satisfy above mentioned dimwits, and a mission which puts her far into enemy territory and gives her ample opportunity to prove herself, again, as well as deal some serious pain to the lunatics in the Theocracy.
Of course it would be little suspense if Kat would be given a huge state of the art battle fleet to wreak havoc on the Theocracy so instead she is given a somewhat less than modern fleet to say the last, with the exception of her own ship The Lightning of course. To make matters worse the crew is mostly in the same bad shape as the ships not to mention that one of them is a spy.
So the stage is set for a nice adventure and the book does deliver quite nicely on that. Kat is managing to throw quite a few grains of sand into the Theocracy’s machinery and Admiral Junayd, who the Theocracy in their infinite wisdom (irony) have chosen to post behind the frontlines after Kat spoiled his plans in the previous book. I quite like that the book does indeed follow both sides to quite a large extent so that we do really get to read about the surprise effects and humiliation that Kat manages to bestow onto the religious lunatics. Well Admiral Junayd himself is neither lunatic nor very religious really but, unfortunately for him, most of the other people around him are.
The book moves along at a decent, fairly brisk, pace while Kat pummels the Theocracy. Not everything goes Kat’s way of course and the before mentioned spy manages to cause quite some damage. In the end though Kat has enhanced her reputation as a war hero quite a bit and there is also a slightly surprising turn of events involving a certain Admiral Junayd in the last few chapters. As usual the writing is good, there are several good characters as well as a good story.
I am looking forward to the next book in the series.