The Terran Empire is dead. Long live the Empire!
Commander Jared Mertz, the bastard son of the Emperor, and his half-sister, Princess Kelsey, barely speak to one another. To their dismay, their father seizes an opportunity to change that and sends them on a dangerous quest to explore the fallen Empire.
Separated from home by an impassable gulf and struggling to redefine their relationship, they find themselves thrust into a vicious war. Unless they work together to stop the Empire’s deadly legacy, billions face a horrific fate.
This book is not exactly a literary masterpiece but it is a quite fun and entertaining little space opera novel nevertheless. It is a fairly straight forward adventure story with the usual elements, a fallen empire, surviving factions trying to rebuild, monarchs and emperors rule, heroes are heroes and bad guys are bad guys. Naturally a lot action and a little bit of romance is thrown in.
The book starts of in the space of one of these surviving factions that have rebuilt a small empire in the model of the old fallen one. They are in the process of exploring further into the fallen empire’s space and this is the story about the adventures the men and women undertaking that exploration.
Naturally the exploration fleet pretty soon encounters some quite interesting things to explore and, when doing so, to none of the readers surprise, the unexpected happens and they find themselves in quite of a pickle. Luckily the commander, which his superior and clueless fleet officers looks down on of course, is more than capable of handling himself and his fleet. So, it turns out, is the Princess. The state of not talking to each other does not last very long.
Our heroes finds both friends and foes and the foes are of a particularly nasty nature. The fighting is of course fierce and it is only by superior skill and quite a bit of interesting discoveries that the good side overcomes their troubles.
The characters are simple but classical hero and bad guy material and I personally find them quite likable. Sure it is a bit of a sci-fi action/adventure TV-show style over them, as well as over the entire story, but what the heck. I quite liked them.. Once the story starts to roll it is not that difficult to figure out where it is going to go. As I wrote it is not very deep or complex. The heroes invents strategies, sucks up and uses unknown technology and generally overcomes any trouble thrown in their way with incredible ease. Having said that the story is a good foundation for some good old adventure and action.
After reading this first book in the series I felt it was good enough so that I had a go at the second book and now I am already reading the third. If you are looking for deep characters, complex stories and hard core sci-fi go elsewhere. If you are looking for a simple to read and fun sci-fi adventure story in the good old fashioned way this book might be for you.