The Empire is preparing for the next Ca’cadasan onslaught. But this time they plan to bleed the Cacas to the point where they are ripe for the next counteroffensive to roll them back to their own space. The Caca Emperor had his own plan, one that will send the human peoples reeling
The Ca’cadasan Emperor realizes that as long as the humans have their wormhole generating station the war will be in doubt. He comes up with an audacious plan to strike at the Donut from out of the dark. The Cacas now have wormholes of their own, and while not in the same quantity as the humans, still an equalizer if used judiciously. A strike on the Donut and the Capital planet of Jewel could leave the humans paralyzed, while his fleet launches a massive offensive to recapture the New Moscow systems. And New Moscow could become the springboard into the New Terran Empire.
The alliance built by Sean is also at risk, as the Elysium and Crakista Empires reevaluate their role in the human led coalition. Sean is depending on their ships, but will they be there when he needs them the most. And on the Second Front a new offensive is going forward into Ca’cadasan space. But the new Caca commander is not like the last, and he has plans of his own to defeat them.
The Empire is faced with a crisis, one that could take all of their gains, all of their victories, away from them. Sean could lose more than his Empire if the Cacas have their way.
I have to say that I procrastinated a wee bit before starting to read this book. The title scared me somewhat. With that title I was afraid that things were going to make a turn for the worst and the book to be a bit sad. Well, the shit did hit the fan big time but it was not as bad as I thought and the book was great. This is probably the most combat filled book in the series. It is almost non-stop action from start to finish.
The book starts off with following the Cacas infiltrating human core space with wormhole equipped ships in preparation for their sneak attack. Naturally the do succeed since otherwise we would not have much of a story would we. During this time the book switches between the infiltrators and the humans going about their business. As you can read in the book blurb the Alysium and Crakista political caste decide to do what politicians do best, screw things up. So by the time the Cacas decide to make their move quite a bit of products that have passed the digestive tract of various species are ready to be thrown into the fan.
I will of course not tell you exactly what the Cacas have planned but I would say that it is not really a spoiler for anyone with moderate intelligence to state that the Donut is high on the Cacas hitlist. When they do move the humans are, of course, taken by utter surprise. This annoyed me a little bit since they did have intelligence warning that the Cacas probably had developed wormhole technology and the targets they hit were not exactly surprising ones.
Anyway, once the Cacas begin to move it rather quickly turns into not one, not two but three large slug-feasts in three different places between the Cacas and the humans. This is a dire day for the humans and the losses rise quite quickly. After the initial surprise the humans fight back, no surprise there, but for what happens next you have to read the book. Too much spoilers otherwise.
There are a few interesting things that I can mention though. Mr. Dandridge throws in a few twists and hints as the story develops. One that causes much grief for Sean but which I believe will serve as a major plot element in future books. There are also hints of new technology, supposedly military, about to be ready to help the humans. I always like new stuff. Especially if it is going to provide some nasty surprises for the bad guys.
The book is written with the excellence that we have come to expect from Mr. Dandridge. There is just enough detail to the story without it turning into an endless series of dialogues or monologues like, for instance, the latest books by David Weber, the characters are good, even the Cacas are interesting and the action is great.
As usual I can hardly wait for the next installment in the series.