For Lieutenant Alexis Carew, it should be the perfect assignment — a command of her own and a chance to return to her home star system.
What she finds is a surly crew, the dregs of every frigate and ship of the line to pass through on the way to the war’s front, a first officer who thinks the command should have been his, and colonial worlds where they believe a girl’s place is somewhere very different than command of a Queen’s starship. Add to that the mysterious disappearances of ships vital to the war effort and an old enemy who seems intent on convincing her he’s changed. Then there’s the mongoose with an unnatural affinity for her boots.
The books in the Alexis Carew series are somewhat bizarre as Science Fiction goes. They are a mixture of modern science and throwbacks to the days of such characters as Horatio Hornblower. The ships travel faster than light and yet they have sails which are manually raised and taken down by the crew, gun ports that open and manually loaded guns etc…
Once I had started to get over the anachronisms and bizarre mix of old and new I took quite a liking to Alexis Carew and this book series. Unfortunately I have to say that this book felt like the weakest in the series.
The book is as well written as any of the other books in the series. Alexis is the main character of course but the story drags along without really taking off. There are really never any great moments. Alexis goes about her business there are a few skirmishes, the usual “you are just a woman” stuff but it never really leads anywhere. The war is just sitting there in the background but Alexis is never part of it.
A lot of time is also spent back on her home world with her family and Alexis is also having personal problems as well as a drinking problem. I felt that was rather boring to be honest. She never really gets a change of shining as the strong person and hero overcoming any problem thrown in her way as she was in the previous books. Then we have the ending which to me was rather depressing.
It was an enjoyable book but not as much as the other three books in the series as far as I am concerned.