It is a long time since I started reading this series but due to it taking a nosedive after the first book it has taken me some time to complete.
I quite liked the first book in this series, enough to give it four stars, which is probably why I suffered through it, in some vain hope of getting another one of those four stars books. Sadly it never happened. This is the last book in the Federal Histories series but the story continues in the Heretic of the Federation series. Not surprisingly I think I give that one a pass.
The story is a mix of science and fantasy (magic) which can be quite good if it is done right. In this series it is not really working as far as I am concerned. This mix becomes more of a mess. Actually the entire story is a bit of a mess with conspiracies, asshat politicians and admirals and whatnot.
There are several elements of the story that has so much potential. For example this sentient computer that becomes a important ally of Stephanie. Bringing in Morgana also felt like a cool idea at the beginning. Sadly most of it just felt wasted.
The idea of being able to train your magic in some virtual space hooked up to computers could have worked but it didn’t, at least not for me.
Then we have this rubbish side story of wanting to “clean up” the polluted Earth which felt like some added thing just to cater for a certain minority but which just became a distraction.
To really kill off the series for me the ending was just no, no, NO! Absolutely abysmal. I suspect that the author decided to throw in this apocalyptic ending, where everything that has been achieved is just ripped apart, just to set the stage and create interest, for the next series but I do not like cliffhangers and cliffhangers of apocalyptic proportions… well those I have a apocalyptic dislike for.