Humankind had a bright future among the stars. A dozen interstellar colonies thrive under the light of far stars, while at home there has been peace between the contentious system governments for several decades. There is even the hope that faster than light travel may be on the horizon, and with it a more massive expansion of mankind to the stars.
That future is put in doubt by the signal received from the Tau Ceti colony. First contact, five enormous alien ships entering the system. It was something humanity had dreamed of for centuries. And it was a nightmare. The aliens are death worshippers whose creed calls for the extermination of all life in the Universe. The aliens leave the Tau Ceti system devoid of life and head for Sol. We know they are coming, and have years to build up the fleet. But will it be enough to defeat an enemy that flies the stars in eighty thousand cubic kilometers of warships, with technologies beyond ours? Or will the human race become just another species sent into the long night by the Hsszat?
The humans are not without their own technological advantages, and the war making wisdom millennia of battling their own. Will it be enough?
It is not much of a surprise that I liked this book. The story is right up my alley and it is written by one of my favorite authors, Doug Dandridge. I absolutely love his Exodus: Empires at War series. This book was published in 2013 and has passed under my radar…until know. It is not part of any of Doug’s ongoing series but rather a standalone book with a distinct start, middle and end. Having said that it would not be difficult to imagine a continuation of the story in a future book.
As the book blurb states the humans face an invasion of fanatic death worshippers who believe that their mission is to eradicate all life in the universe finishing with themselves. They are not that bright though and not really more advanced than the humans except for their total conversion beam. They conquer by swarming their enemies with their sheer numbers.
One unusual aspect of the book is that none of the parties involved possess faster than light travel. Thus when the humans are alerted to the aliens presence they have years to prepare. Obviously a lot of the book are about the human’s preparations and their desperate struggle to find a technological advantage over the aliens. One which they ultimately find but you have to read the book to find out what.
Once the action starts it is well done with thousands of ships involved. In the end it boils down to a few ships and a few people saving the day though.
As usual with Doug Dandridge’s books this one is well written and enjoyable to read although I have to say that it lacks somewhat of the depth and complexity of his Exodus: Empires at War series. But then with that series Doug has had several rather large books in which to develop the story and the characters.
Bottom line for me is that this was a good military science fiction adventure and I read through it more or less non-stop.