A stand-alone set during the Ark Royal Era.
The Royal Navy never expected to fight a full-scale interstellar war. Everyone knew the Great Powers would never risk everything on armed conflict, when there was plenty of room for everyone in outer space. But when a hostile alien force stumbles across humanity’s handful of colony worlds, the Great Powers must set aside their differences and fight to preserve humanity from utter destruction.
Desperate for starships and manpower, the Royal Navy embarks upon an ambitious plan of converting freighters into makeshift carriers and recruiting reservists and criminals to fill the ranks. Classed as expendable, the small carriers will be given the most dangerous missions to slow a remorseless alien foe …
… And the pardons their crews have been offered will be meaningless if they die.
I am sorry to say that this is one of the few books from Christopher Nuttall that I was not overly thrilled about. As usual there is nothing wrong with the writing itself. It is as good as I have come to expect from Mr. Nuttall. I guess that I just expected a different story.
The story revolves around a female merchant captain who gets dragged into the war when the navy realizes that they do not have enough hardware to meat the new threat from the aliens. You know, the usual story of politicians skimping on defense and using the money to buy votes instead.
What I expected was a story telling the events of the alien attack on Earth and the desperate attempts to repel them while Ark Royal was away kicking alien arse elsewhere. Unfortunately this is not what this book is about.
The book is much more about the characters themselves and the action is mostly skirmishes and “guerilla warfare” against the alien supply lines. The better part of this book is about the lives of the two main characters and the war serves more as a backdrop for this story.
Now, as I wrote above, it is a good and well written story. If you like this kind of story you will find the book excellent. Personally I liked the original Ark Royal story better. It is more about the war, the aliens and action. This one was not so much my cup of tea.
But then, given how many great books I have read from Mr. Nuttall, it is perhaps not so surprising that there would be one or two not to my liking. I have 67 books from Mr. Nuttall on my bookshelves, I have rated almost all of them at four or five stars out of five and none of them less than three.