Ruins of Empire (Blood on the Stars, #3) by Jay Allan
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Very good
Captain Tyler Barron and the crew of Dauntless are finally enjoying the rest they’ve earned while their aging battleship Dauntless gets the repairs and refit it desperately needs. But their respite will be short-lived. In the Badlands, deep in the haunted vastness of pre-Cataclysmic space, a new discovery threatens to upset the balance of power.
Orbiting a world in a distant system is an ancient battleship, vastly larger and enormously more advanced than anything possessed by the contending powers…and the Union has already sent forces to seize it. The Confederation has no ships close enough to intervene, to get there before the enemy…none save Dauntless.
Barron and his crew must race across the Badlands, find the ancient artifact, and somehow hold it, keep the Union forces from taking it, until reinforcements arrive. They will be outnumbered and outgunned, but there can be no retreat. Not this time. Nothing less than the fate of all human-inhabited space is at stake.
If the Confederation is able to rediscover the technology of the ancients, it will be safe for generations to come, its defensive forces untouchable by its enemies. But if the Union gets there first, if it can adapt the incredible power of mankind’s lost technology, it will gain the power to enslave all humanity.
This fight isn’t for territory. It isn’t for position or tactical advantage. It is for the future.
The continuation of Tyler Barron’s adventures in the war between the Confederation and the (communist) Union continues. This time the stakes are obviously high as can be seen from the book blurb.
It is a good and entertaining book. It flips between the fight for the ancient relic and another big clash between the Confederation and the Union. Loosing any one of these conflicts could spell the doom for the Confederation. Personally I was not too happy about the jumping back and forth between the two threads. Sure, it made for a good story with plenty of pressure but both events are easily good enough for a whole book each.
As usual there is plenty of combat action in the book but also a fair amount of personal interaction. The Union political officer is a particularly nasty piece of work and it is indeed a joyful event when Barron & Co finally gets their hands on this scumbag.
The book introduces a new character, the freighter and smuggler captain Lafarge. I definitely like this woman. Strong, resourceful and she takes no shit from anyone. Needless to say she and her ship and crew plays an important role in the story.
I have to say that I was a wee bit disappointed with the ending. I cannot say much about it without spoiling too much but let’s just say that I would have liked the Confederation to retain a bit more advantages from the outcome.
On the whole though it was a soundly entertaining read. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.