The Kobani use captured Krall ships to return to Human Space. They seek expert training for their genetically modified fighters, modern weapons and new medical technology. There’s a possible block to this help, in the form of death penalty laws of the Planetary Union, prohibiting gene modifications of humans. A holdover from the Gene War, which nearly extinguished humanity.
A perilous descent through a war torn planet’s space defenses is a first step. A Krall ship and its heavily armed crew have to be destroyed on the ground, while a watching hostile Special Ops force decides if the Kobani should be trusted or killed. Fighting their way between a rock and a hard place, they prove they are a match for the Krall.
Exploration at home reveals startling alien neighbors, and a habitable world next door. A remarkable genetic discovery there will forever alter the Kobani. Winning allies, Captain Mirikami forges a bold and dangerous plan, to strike deep into the heart of Krall territory. A place the enemy is confident that puny “animals” can’t reach, let alone attack.
Simultaneous Kobani raids damage Krall war manufacturing, buying time for humanity. However, the Krall have a deadly ancient weapon that none expected. Retaliatory escalation of the war has been triggered, and if it doesn’t go as the Krall plan, entire planets and their populations could be shattered.
In my opinion this was a great book. It had plenty of the elements that I really like in a good science fiction book. A nice bunch of likable heroes, some nasty alien adversaries, quite a few wow moments where the heroes show their capabilities, some good fighting and a few interesting twists in the story.
The Krall are continuing on their “Grand Path” but, obviously, the humans and especially the Kobanis, are not really playing along. After all the intent of the Kralls are the extinction if mankind so I guess it is somewhat understandable that the humans, whether they are genetically modified humans or not, have little desire to play the Krall game.
Our heroes find a few allies along the road. Both human and not so human ones. I found these parts of the book quite nice. It is not just that the humans finds some aliens with a grudge towards the Krall but the author have created a interesting story around said aliens and some of them are a wee bit reluctant to enter the human “crusade” against the Krall for reasons that I might not entirely agree with but are still rather understandable.
As I wrote in the title of this post, our heroes, are dealing out some serious surprises and pain to the Kralls. The human (Kobani) capabilities are being enhanced at a rather exponential rate. This is something that sometimes feels like a cheap plot element but here, in my opinion, the author has done a decent job of it. It ties nicely into the overall story and the various sub-element of it.
Naturally there would be little suspense if our heroes and the humans in general would just roll over the Kralls and obviously this is not what happens. The big “cliffhanger” in this book is how the Krall will respond and what secret weapon they will actually deploy. There are some hints in the book and I have to say that I am looking forward to the next book even though I do not really like cliffhangers.
Overall this was a very enjoyable read. Just my cup of tea. The only reason I did not start to read the next book right away (it is bought and sitting on my hard drive) is that, after three science fiction books in a row, I felt like a detour into urban fantasy land was called for. So after my latest adventure into the world of the Elemental Assassin series I will definitely get back to the Koban Series.
By the way, this is not a small novella. At over 500 pages it is really god value for money and the fact that, in my personal opinion, it is a really good book makes it a very worthwhile “investment”.