No good deed goes unpunished…
Admiral Jared Mertz and Princess Kelsey Bandar saved billions of lives and staved off an invasion of the Terran Empire, but not everyone is cheering their success. Their triumphant return sets off a chain of events that threaten not only their lives, but everyone they hold dear.
Crown Prince Ethan Bandar, heir to the Imperial Throne, will stop at nothing to claim his birthright. He won’t allow anyone to stand between him and ultimate power. Not his sister. Not his half-brother. Not even his father.
Kelsey, Jared, and their battle-hardened allies must fight to survive his insidious attacks and race to stop a looming civil war. With the future of humanity on the line, can they save the world they love from blood and fire?
In this, the fifth, installment of The Empire of Bones saga Jared, Kelsey & Co finally finds their way back home. It is a mixed homecoming though. Although this book sees a bit of a lull in the fight against the AIs Jared and Kelsey are forced to fight against internal enemies instead.
One could say that this book is more about political power plays, vendettas and subterfuge than the other books. Normally I am not too keen on those kind of stories. In this book however, there are enough “good stuff” to make me enjoy it despite the internal strife.
One thing that I like are the surprise moments starting right at the moment when Jared and Kelsey arrives in their supercharged new (or should I say old since it is Old Terran ships) fleet which dwarfs, outruns and outguns everything anyone at home has seen until now. Kelsey of course creates a few dropped jaws but the rest of the crew gets their 15 minutes of fame as well. I quite liked Carl’s show down with professor Bedford (who turned out to be quite likable) for instance.
The snake in the garden is of course Crown Prince Ethan Bandar. Unfortunately the characterization of Ethan is almost over the top just as with Captain Breckenridge (who makes a brief return in this book by the way). Ethan is not as stupid as Breckenridge but his fanatical paranoia which makes him convinced that everyone is conspiring to grab the throne from him and his continuous monologues where he convinces him of this very “fact” and that his actions are justified are a wee bit tiring.
Naturally Nathan manages to screw up more than a few things and the book mostly revolves around our friends trying to unravel his betrayals and scheming to grab the throne even if it tears the Empire apart. However, even though it probably counts as a bit of a spoiler (be warned), I have to say that one of the things that I like in these books is that the bad guys generally gets what they deserve and this goes for this book as well.
Again Terry Mixon has woven together and fun to read, fairly fast paced adventure story. I quite enjoyed it.