The book blurb starts with stating that war is over. I think that is rather an understatement. There is a lull in the real fighting, nothing more. WelThe book blurb starts with stating that war is over. I think that is rather an understatement. There is a lull in the real fighting, nothing more. Well the full war kind of fighting is in a bit of a lull but the book has plenty of action even without an official war going on. Actually, this book is a lot more action filled than what I expected from the book blurb. I expected something a lot more “Cold War” style where there was a lot of posturing, spying and undercover work but not so much action. I was wrong which, to me, is a good thing this time.
The book focuses a lot on Captain Sorilla which, to me, is also a good thing since she is one of my favorite characters in this series. We also have somewhat of a first contact situation. That is a first contact for the humans with this particular race. Unfortunately for this race they already had their first contact with the Ross. A contact which, not surprisingly ended badly. Now let us throw in a surprising discovery as well, one which explains why the Ross wanted this particular world in the first place, and we have quite a good story.
This was a very enjoyable book as far as I am concerned. It is written in the usual Evan C. Currie style which means it is quite well written. It has an interesting story, some interesting new aliens, good science fiction physics, material, gadgets etc… and lots and lots of action.
Captain Sorilla excels of course and she is reaching almost super hero levels in this book. Too much gung ho Sorilla? Not yet, at least not to me. The author is managing to balance her superior capabilities, partly due to her experimental implants but also due to her being…Sorilla, and the human side of her quite well. Also, she is not the only interesting character in the book although she, of course, has the lead role.
I have to say that, given the ending of this book, I am very eagerly looking forward to the next installment in this series. After all, it looks like the balance of power in the Alliance might have changed rather drastically....more
In my opinion this was a great book. It had plenty of the elements that I really like in a good science fiction book. A nice bunch of likable heroes,In my opinion this was a great book. It had plenty of the elements that I really like in a good science fiction book. A nice bunch of likable heroes, some nasty alien adversaries, quite a few wow moments where the heroes show their capabilities, some good fighting and a few interesting twists in the story.
The Krall are continuing on their “Grand Path” but, obviously, the humans and especially the Kobanis, are not really playing along. After all the intent of the Kralls are the extinction if mankind so I guess it is somewhat understandable that the humans, whether they are genetically modified humans or not, have little desire to play the Krall game.
Our heroes find a few allies along the road. Both human and not so human ones. I found these parts of the book quite nice. It is not just that the humans finds some aliens with a grudge towards the Krall but the author have created a interesting story around said aliens and some of them are a wee bit reluctant to enter the human “crusade” against the Krall for reasons that I might not entirely agree with but are still rather understandable.
As I wrote in the title of this post, our heroes, are dealing out some serious surprises and pain to the Kralls. The human (Kobani) capabilities are being enhanced at a rather exponential rate. This is something that sometimes feels like a cheap plot element but here, in my opinion, the author has done a decent job of it. It ties nicely into the overall story and the various sub-element of it.
Naturally there would be little suspense if our heroes and the humans in general would just roll over the Kralls and obviously this is not what happens. The big “cliffhanger” in this book is how the Krall will respond and what secret weapon they will actually deploy. There are some hints in the book and I have to say that I am looking forward to the next book even though I do not really like cliffhangers.
Overall this was a very enjoyable read. Just my cup of tea. The only reason I did not start to read the next book right away (it is bought and sitting on my hard drive) is that, after three science fiction books in a row, I felt like a detour into urban fantasy land was called for. So after my latest adventure into the world of the Elemental Assassin series I will definitely get back to the Koban Series.
By the way, this is not a small novella. At over 500 pages it is really god value for money and the fact that, in my personal opinion, it is a really good book makes it a very worthwhile “investment”. ...more
This book picks up right after the first book in the series. At the end of the last book the arrogant and, to some extent, ignorant Krall left the humThis book picks up right after the first book in the series. At the end of the last book the arrogant and, to some extent, ignorant Krall left the humans on Koban to die at the hands of the native inhabitans of Koban. That was probably the Krall’s greatest mistake.
As you have probably surmised already the humans do not intend to follow the “Great Path” of the Krall and they do do not go down that easy. This is a story about human heroism, human inginuity and persistence. As usual there are also a few political dumbasses trying to screw things up big time but again these sorry arsed individual are rather quickly disposed of and some of them in a rather gruesome way. Yet they do get what their incredibly stupid actions deserve. I almost whish that we would encounter a hostile alien race so we could cull some of the dumbass politicians that we are forced to endure today.
As I mentioned the Krall left the humans on Koban to die. Needless to say they did not follow the Krall’s plans. If you have read the previous book you would expect the humans to continue their genetic advances to greate humans that could withstand the Krall. They did indeed do that but the author was not content with such as simple story. The native Krall fauna provided quite a few surprises. Surprises that the Krall was too ignorant, arrogant or too stupid to realize not to mention take advantages of. The humans did not make the same mistake.
This is a really good book but it is still quite a bit of a build up to the final (?) confrontation. The humans are building their strengths, making new discoveries, settling their own issues with the political dimwits (which luckily still only play a minor part in these books as I wrote above) etc…
It is not until the very end that things transpire that opens up the field of opportunities. Especially the opportunity to get back in the fight against the Krall and this time not being on the receiving end.
This book is at least as good as the first book in the series, interesting characters, well built universe, good writing and it does indeed make you want to read the next one … as soon as possible....more
Vanguard starts a third story arc (or trilogy if you so prefer) in the Ark Royal series. The Ark Royal series is one of my favourite book series and tVanguard starts a third story arc (or trilogy if you so prefer) in the Ark Royal series. The Ark Royal series is one of my favourite book series and this book gives me no reason to change my mind. Vanguard is a good piece of military science fiction with some of the classical ingredients that I happen to like quite a lot like a strong hero, a set of mysterious alien invaders and plenty of space action.
As usual our hero have more things to fight than “just” the big bad aliens. For instance an incompetent commanding officer and a few stereotypes about military bureaucracy and the you-cannot-touch-your-commanding-office-no-matter-how-much-damage-he-causes mentality among the upper echelons.
Apart from the introduction of the characters and setting up of the scenario the book pretty much takes off with a first contact scenario. I always like those. If you read the book blurb you know that this first contact does develop a few issues, as in things getting seriously fucked up, interstellar war kind of fucked up, and this time the old enemies, the Tadpoles, are on the same wrong end of the stick as the humans.
One thing, of many, that I liked with this book was that the ship our hero is stationed on is not a small stealthy one or a exploration ship or some other ship which can do little but sneak around. This time we are talking about the biggest and “baddest” piece of military hardware that the humans have produced so far. Ark Royal with all the new toys that the humans have developed. It is clobber time! Of course it would not be much of a start of a new story arc if the bad guys did not have some nasty toys themselves so both sides got to do some clobbering.
As usual with a book by Christopher Nuttall, there are plenty of interesting characters, the setup is quite good and it is a well done story in general. I do like our new hero and quite a few of the other characters around here. There were not really that many unlikable characters except for the incompetent commander of course.
The new aliens are, so far, quite a bit of a mystery which adds a bit to the suspense in the book. Needless to say they are somewhat prone to diplomacy by violence though.
The book ends in quite a bit of a cliffhanger. That is the part of the book that I was not overly thrilled about. Our hero has pretty much saved the day, or at least prevented a total disaster but of course the useless “politicians” and career seekers in the upper echelons of the military do not see it that way. I cannot say that it was much of a surprise cliffhanger though. The story pretty much built itself up to this part. Still, it gave a bit of an aaaarrrggghhh feeling.
Cliffhanger or no cliffhanger, this is a good story and the book has set the stage for what I hope will be another enjoyable story arc from Christopher Nuttall. I do hope that the nonsense in the cliffhanger ending gets sorted expediently early on in the next book so that we can get on with the “real” story....more
This review is based on a eARC copy that the author graciously provided to me in exchange for a fair review. Normally I am a bit hesitant when it comeThis review is based on a eARC copy that the author graciously provided to me in exchange for a fair review. Normally I am a bit hesitant when it comes to reading eARCs since they are sometimes a bit too unfinished and rough around the edges for my taste. This author however (I really do not know the guy apart from a few interactions on Goodreads) has surprised me by providing eARCs that are actually of better quality than some of the released works out there so I felt reasonably safe to jump into this particular eARC. The author did not disappoint this time either.
This is a quite good adventure story. A crime / thriller story set in a post-apocalyptic setting in our own solar system. If you are looking for a space opera with space ships travelling huge distances and armadas of space ships slugging it out then this book is not for you.
This book is about the characters, the interaction between them and the development of both the story and the characters. As far as the characters goes the author have created quite a few (very) interesting characters which compels you (me at least) to want to read the next page in order to get to know what happens, perhaps not so much as far as the story goes which is sometimes a wee bit predictable. Nothing wrong with that though, I rather have a wee bit predictable story than one that splatters the book with ludicrous twists in each chapter. However the main interest to me was rather the characters themselves and what they are about to do next.
I quite liked the main character as well as his, forced upon him, somewhat bizarre, sidekick. I think this relation was my main enjoyment of this book. It was really fun to read and the few pages where both of these colleagues/antagonists where not present felt that they were actually missing something. There are a few other characters as well which has a rather profound impact on the events but I will let you discover that for yourself in order not to spoil the book.
The book also delves into a few subjects like big corporations, class systems, life after the apocalypse etc. All of these subjects are threated quite well although, to me, whether it was intentional or not they were overshadowed by the actual crime plot and the character interaction. I am not complaining though since this is how I like it. These things provided a nice backdrop to the story but they did not overwhelm the “good stuff” in it.
Now we come my main gripe about this book. The ending. Those of you who have read my previous reviews knows that I am a bit particular about my endings. I am especially getting a wee bit upset about tragic endings. Now, as I have pointed out several times before I am not a professional reviewer so I allow myself to let my reviews be coloured by personal preferences. I also would like to point out that it is not at all a bad ending but a wee bit tragic one. I am especially, shall we say upset, about the ending since I had hoped that there would be a continuation of all the relations that was built up between the various characters and now I have some difficulty seeing how that could happen.
As with the books in The Circuit series this one is not the longest one around weighing in at 246 pages. What is there is good quality though and well worth reading. It is only personal bias/preference (the ending) that prevents me from giving it another star. ...more
I found the blurb of this book quite promising and I let myself be seduced by the many five star reviews on Goodreads. Unfortunately, as far as I am cI found the blurb of this book quite promising and I let myself be seduced by the many five star reviews on Goodreads. Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned, this book did not live up to its promises. I actually contemplated to give it a two star rating on Goodreads but it is too well written for that.
The short of it is that Tabitha gets stung by an alien spider at the eve of an invasion of Earth. Once she wakes up she has mutated, and continues to mutate. Of course when she wakes up it is in a post apocalyptic world where aliens roam the lands.
It sounded quite good and the books poster picture seems to portray Tabitha as a bit of a bad-ass. Unfortunately she is nothing of the kind. At the beginning of the book Tabitha starts off her “human” life as a bit of a looser. Okay, she is about to mutate after all so I thought let’s see what happens…
Unfortunately Tabitha continues to be a bit of a looser. She rarely does anything herself except reacting to whatever gets thrown in her way. The plot progresses quite slowly. There are lot of detailed descriptions of the environment as well as Tabitha’s thoughts which would have been okay if the plot would actually have moved on a bit but it does not. Apart from being quite slow it actually becomes a bit repetitive. Tabitha experiences one bad encounter after another but they are all somewhat similar and, quite frankly, it got a bit boring after a while.
I would have expected Tabitha to evolve during her voyage and she does indeed develop a few new abilities but she never wakes up from he sleepy walk through the countryside. She never “grows up” and takes command. She is mostly hiding in her own miserable wallowing and the thought of actually doing something with her abilities never seems to occur to her except in senseless fits of emotional outbursts.
Another gripe I have with this book is that almost everyone she encounters are assholes in various degrees. I mean come on, they are really stupid, short sighted dickheads! It is like a mash-up of X-Files, The Walking Dead and I do not know what. It does not matter if it is aliens or humans or other hybrids. They are simply assholes with a few exceptions.
As a result the book felt way too long, quite boring at times as well as rather depressing. It was far from the strong mutant woman story that I hoped it would be. The book is quite well written but the story is not…well, not so good as far as I am concerned.
The Lost Starship series continues to be an entertaining read with this, the fourth, instalment in the series. The “old men” desperately needs to fighThe Lost Starship series continues to be an entertaining read with this, the fourth, instalment in the series. The “old men” desperately needs to fight back against the New Men but, as the book blurb states, the New Men continues to throw gravel into the machinery. As usual the paranoid and stupid humans react in ways that are not exactly the most efficient ones when it comes to achieving an actual victory.
Thus Maddox is left to his own devices in order to save the “old men” even though Admiral Fletcher does his best to clobber the New Men fleet.
It is another fun adventure story in The Lost Starship universe. It is a bit of a roller coaster ride with the usual elements such as Maddox and his friends (including the AI Galyan) being their usual ass-kickers, some fleet action, some ground action and a whole lot of conspiracies, enemy infiltration and such like nastiness by the New Men and their androids which are almost undistinguishable from real humans. Our old acquaintance, Professor Ludendorff, does his best to help keep the confusion going and, as usual, it is difficult to really know which side he is on. Mostly it feels like it is a third one, his own.
While various parties are slugging it out in space and on the ground the search for alien artefacts, in particular those from the founders, continues in the hope of getting the upper hand against the New Men. What Maddox & Co finds this time exceeds their wildest dreams and it is not only artefacts that they find.
The book ends the current story arc and it is a fairly satisfactory ending which, at the same time, leaves plenty of openings for a continuation of the adventures in this Science Fiction universe. These books are nicely written and easy to read adventure stories. The characters are quite colourful and often likable. I for one hope that the author has plans to create a new story arc which takes off from where this one ended. ...more
The book blurb on Amazon as well as on Goodreads use words like “Sensational #1 All-Star Bestselling…”. I do not know what qualifies as bestselling buThe book blurb on Amazon as well as on Goodreads use words like “Sensational #1 All-Star Bestselling…”. I do not know what qualifies as bestselling but I sincerely doubt that this book is really bestselling. It is certainly not sensational and very far from all-star material as far as I am concerned. It can best be describes as a moderately entertaining short novella.
It starts off fairly promising introducing Nyxe as she wakes up to her new world which, so far, consists of herself and a overprotective AI. Nyxe is a genetically altered “superhuman” that was created 400 years ago and put into hypersleep until she could be woken up to rebuild a shattered Earth. So far so good. The spin on this, not entirely original, post-apocalypse story is not bad and the writing and story telling is acceptable at this point.
However then it starts to go downhill. Some spoilers ahead!
Nyxe was supposed to be the only one left but suddenly “test subject #16” pops up. A male of course. Adam and Eve anyone? He was also woken up by the AI. If Nyxe would have discovered some remnant of humanity left on the scorched Earth I would have found it acceptable but the fact that the same AI woke up another genetically modified human just made the story inconsistent. Nyxe was supposed to be the only remaining one remember?
After that the story just continues downhill. The AI behaves stupidly. The, now two, remaining humans engage in the usual nonsensical bickering, jealousy and betrayal. Aliens and galactic conflict threatening what is left of Earth is thrown into the mix and instead of rebuilding Earth Nyxe is flying around the galaxy talking to aliens.
The ending is, well, not exactly surprising and rather meh.
As I wrote the book is moderately entertaining, especially the first half, but with emphasize on moderately. It is a good idea which is rather poorly implemented in the end....more
Progeny of Vale is the second instalment in The Circuit book series. It follows directly from the first book in the series, Executor Rising. It shouldProgeny of Vale is the second instalment in The Circuit book series. It follows directly from the first book in the series, Executor Rising. It should be noted that the version of the book that I am reviewing is a eARC copy provided by the author so I am going to be very vague about the actual story to avoid spoilers. I do have to say though, that this was probably the most well-written and complete eARC that I have read. I have read many, supposedly finished, books that have been much less impressive than this eARC. Actually it did not give the impression of being an eARC at all but rather a finished product.
The main characters, Vale, Sage, Rayne, the bad guys and, of course, the android ADIM is back in this continuing saga that plays itself out in the dystopian future generally named The Circuit. Vale continues his quest to bring down the Tribune aided by his fanatically faithful android and while doing so he is about to cause a war between the remaining factions of humanity.
As with the previous book this is not a book primarily about action in terms of space battles and such like but focuses more on plots, intrigues, political machinations and, of course, the characters. Having said that the book is not devoid of combat action and as the war looms closer the action parts increase.
Much of the appeal of this book is in the interesting dystopian future that that author has created as well as in the characters and their destinies. Even though this book is a little bit outside of my normal military space opera kind of reading it was a very enjoyable read thanks to the setting and the characters which do develop quite a bit as the story develops.
I wrote in my review of the first book that I felt the reader was thrown straight into this universe without much in terms of explanation as to how humanity ended up in this state. In this book the author sprinkles around a few more explanations to this as well as parts of the past for Vale and Sage which allows you to connect the dots a bit better. Having said that what actually happened, especially to the “Ancients”, are still somewhat shrouded in mystery.
At the end of the book the scene is set for a quite interesting next book. I am indeed looking forward to read it.
I was graciously given this eARC by the author in exchange for an honest opinion and suggestions for improvements. As far as the story goes I cannot say that I find much that needs improvement. The writing is good, the story is interesting and so are the characters. It was a year and a half since I read the first book and, since the story is not exactly the usual simple run of the mill kind of story it was a bit difficult to remember all the details as to what happened in the previous book so one suggestion would be to have one or two pages of recap at the start of the book.
Bottom line is that it was a quite enjoyable read and if you liked the first book you will like this one and if you have not read the first book I personally think it is worthwhile reading. It is not the longest books around but what is there is well done....more
This book is perhaps not the best in The Human Chronicles series but it is certainly not the worst either which means that it is an enjoyable ScienceThis book is perhaps not the best in The Human Chronicles series but it is certainly not the worst either which means that it is an enjoyable Science Fiction adventure story with a good dose of action and some humour.
This instalment focuses a lot on Adam Cain and the alien mutant Panur. I have to say that I have taken quite a liking to this creature which is obviously insanely intelligent but at the same time frequently behaves like a spoiled child. The interactions between Adam and Panur are quite entertaining.
As the book blurb states, Adam and Panur is forced on the run with the entire Galaxy hunting them due to the offer that Sol-Kor queen has made. This actually annoyed me quite a lot. Every single race, including the humans, behave like complete idiots not only believing the sincerity of this treacherous enemy race and their offer but the fact that they even contemplate handing back the chief architect behind the enemies war machine and technology to the enemy is simply beyond stupidity!
Well, at least it sets the stage for some good old-fashioned Adam Cain style of action. The story is the usual roller coaster ride where Adam kicks some alien butts and, in this instalment, a few human ones as well. Of course he has the help of quite a few of his old friends.
The blurb states that Panur has come up with a way to rid the galaxy of the Sol-Kor menace for good. Well, that is a bit of an overstatement perhaps. His solution was less impressive than I expected and it was also certainly not something you threw together in a garage considering that it involved some slightly cumbersome ingredients like white dwarf stars and black holes. The latter of course hade to be gathered while the humans and the Juireans, in their continued stupidity, did their best to stop him still believing the Sol-Kor over the hero of the galaxy. As I wrote earlier, I found that part rather frustrating.
Just to complicate matters the author throws in Arieel’s daughter who turns out to have some extraordinary capabilities and who also turns out to be…nah that would be too much of a spoiler.
After the dust has settled the ending, although generally a positive one, leaves me a bit split in that there are indeed a few things that are lost in the process. Again I cannot really be too specific since it would be too much of a spoiler.
On the whole this is an enjoyable “classic” Adam Cain adventure story though and I would say that if you liked the other books in the series this one will not disappoint....more
I should mention right away that my appreciation of this book (or rather lack thereof) is heavily tainted by my personal opinions. As far as I am concI should mention right away that my appreciation of this book (or rather lack thereof) is heavily tainted by my personal opinions. As far as I am concerned the ending pretty much ruined the entire series for me. To me the ending is not only highly tragic but also reeks of cheap Hollywood style chock-the-audience type of cliff-hanger ending. I am not even sure if it is a cliff-hanger or the very-final-real-end ending since it is the end of Part I and it remains to be seen if Part II follows directly in the time line or not. I know that I am a sucker for happy endings so I try to give some leeway for bad endings but this one was so far out on the other end of my scale that I simply cannot bring myself to forgive it.
The majority of the book is quite okay. The fight against the Jung continues. There are quite a bit of build up of forces and fortifications. All our (remaining) old friends are back and there are of course quite a bit of action going on. The Jung are getting quite a few surprises along the way although they also demonstrate what kind of ruthless, criminal scumbags they are…on a planetary scale.
Unfortunately a political element is introduced in the form of a despicable Admiral inclined to political scheming and such deplorable nonsense. As usual when politically inclined people stick their fingers where they should not be, which for politicians is most places, this is to the detriment of most people and in this case the remaining free humans. Well, at least it might be if this douchebag’s plans succeeds. I could definitely have been without that nonsense.
However, what gripes me the most about this book is the absolutely lousy ending. I simply hate it! The fact that this book was the ending of the entire 15 book series that, according to the author, constitutes Part I only makes it so much worse. Obviously I cannot really describe exactly why I hate it since that would undoubtedly create a mega-spoiler but, needless to say, I have rarely been so disappointed in the ending of a book series. Really a shame since the rest of the series have given me much enjoyment. ...more
This is a rather enjoyable adventure set in the A Learning Experience universe by Christopher Nuttall. The book is pretty much freestanding although iThis is a rather enjoyable adventure set in the A Learning Experience universe by Christopher Nuttall. The book is pretty much freestanding although it helps if you have read the previous books. It is also somewhat different from the previous books in that it does not focus so much on the original “learning experience”. The Solar Union is firmly established and this is more of a classical beat-the-invading-aliens kind of an adventure. It is a good adventure but it lacks a bit of the originality that the first books had.
This book introduces some new main characters and starts by spinning itself off from the core of the previous books by sending our hero to a naval base far away from Earth and the rest of the Solar Union.
Naturally this backwater outpost where are hero are supposed to be “disposed off” turns out to not be so calm and quiet as expected and things heat up rather quickly.
The story is fairly linear. Sure, there are the usual misfortunes and setbacks during the campaign but the core of the story is the, not so uncommon, one of encountering big bad aliens, build up your forces and then it is … clobbertime. It might not be the most original one but it is one that I like and, not surprisingly, it is well written as is generally the case when Christopher Nuttall does the writing.
The main hero is a quite likable character, there are not too many political dumbasses or otherwise annoying people on the side of the good guys and there are plenty of good fleet action. I would say that readers that liked the Honor Harrington and Kris Longknife books probably will like this one quite a lot. ...more
I would say that this is a good story although I also have to say that I liked the other series that Raymond L. Weil have created a tad more. It is anI would say that this is a good story although I also have to say that I liked the other series that Raymond L. Weil have created a tad more. It is an interesting story. It does however delve into the realm of profiteers and an entire society where you can buy everything from pleasure to mercenaries and battleships. Personally I have always found these stories stretching the realm of credibility a bit.
Having said that, it is a good, although perhaps a wee bit simplistic, adventure story. There are some quite decent space battles which is probably why I quite liked the book despite the profiteer setting. This book is less heavy on the actual science compared to, for instance, Star One. It is more of an old fashioned adventure from the age of pirates but set in the future and on a galactic scale.
The writing is quite good and there are plenty of likable characters in this book as well as some not so likable. Actually, if you discount the privateers, which by definition are the bad guys, there is only one truly self-centered, abysmally unlikable, political, asshole who, luckily, are quickly contained. At least in this book. He still hangs around though so I truly hope that, if he is included in any future books, that he expediently gets his behind slapped.
What I do like about this book is the premise of humans being the wrong guys to fuck with. Yes, we were caught off guard and yes we got the crap beaten out of us but the profiteers have indeed put their foot in a hornets nest and I think (hope) the stage is set for some serious ass-kicking and surprises for the privateers. I quite would like to see the humans applying some human ingenuity to the advanced science that the have purchased as well. I so do like these surprise moments…surprises for the bad guys that is.
It has all the making of a good adventure series and, despite some reservations, I for one would like to see a continuation of this book series. ...more
This is a good book and a nice adventure story. Since it was an eARC graciously provided to me by the author I will not make a full review at this timThis is a good book and a nice adventure story. Since it was an eARC graciously provided to me by the author I will not make a full review at this time. It is work in progress after all....more
This book continues the adventures of The Ember War. Although it lacks a bit of the originality of the first instalment in the series it is a good advThis book continues the adventures of The Ember War. Although it lacks a bit of the originality of the first instalment in the series it is a good adventure and a good continuation of the series.
As the book blurb states the strike carrier Breitenfeld goes on a mission to discover what the ruins of the planet Anthalas holds. Naturally the mission runs into a few complications. The Xaros being one of them but not the only one.
There are some decent action although the majority of it is marine style action, mostly down on the planet. We also get to know a few new alien spieces including the Qa’Resh who is pretty much running the show as far as far as the Xaros resistance goes. Some of the other aliens are not so friendly and some of them are, quite frankly, exhibiting the not so intelligent behavior of a human career politician. Obviously these dicks are part of the problem and not of the solution.
The book does not really come to any form of conclusion. Although the Breitenfeld do succeed in their mission and manages to escape back to friendly territory there is not that much that comes out of the mission except promises for future discoveries and adventures. Breitenfeld is also sent straight on another mission so the book is pretty open ended. Having said that the twist in what they actually found was not bad at all.
It is a good adventure story even though it was a pretty fast read. I am pretty sure that I will pick up the next book in the series when it comes out. ...more
In all this was a good ending to the Black Fleet Trilogy although I would have liked it to be a happier one. The book continues the story of Captain WIn all this was a good ending to the Black Fleet Trilogy although I would have liked it to be a happier one. The book continues the story of Captain Wolfe and his friends and, as is probably not too surprising, it works itself towards the grand finale tying the various threads together. As with the previous books in the series it provides for some quite decent, actually some very good, fleet action and generally good overall adventure.
Again Captain Wolfe has to fight a bit of an uphill battle against the politicians which are as useless and destructive as always and again he manages to circumvent said nincompoops attempts to sabotage things. Having said that, the politicians in question is kept on a somewhat short leash in this instalment. At least until the end.
The Captain’s friends are back of course and they are as likable as in the previous instalment. I still do really like the Pike character and the interactions between him and Captain Wolfe. That is not to say that the rest of the characters are any less likable. Even the previously not so likable Admiral became somewhat likable in this instalment. Emphasis on somewhat though.
There are a few twists in the plot. Again some more surprising than others although I have to say that none of them where really very unpredictable.I did like the interaction between the Phage “overmind” and Captain Wolfe and the final end game. The revelation of the involment of the Vruahns in the events from the start was a good plot element but not too surprising though.
My (only) real gripe with this book was the ending. The treatment of the person that, in reality, saved the human race from extinction was plain and simple deplorable. I know, I know I am a sucker for good ending so this is really a subjective opinion but to me it took away a bit of my enjoyment of this book.
Apart from that this was a really good book and a good ending of the trilogy. ...more
Normally I find these “side stories” of a main series to be a bit of a fun diversion as best. They often feel like the author tries to milk a few moreNormally I find these “side stories” of a main series to be a bit of a fun diversion as best. They often feel like the author tries to milk a few more bucks out of a successful book series. This is, as far as I am concerned, not the case with Exodus: Machine War. This is a great story, a good story line and a great book. Of course I am somewhat biased in that I know what I like and the story of this book is very much my cup of tea. It is action all the way. It, especially, has some great fleet action as well as good ground action.
The book continues the story of Machine War: Supernova in a pretty logical way. There are plenty of tie-ins to the main story arc (the one of the war with the Cacas). Humanity is now facing a second War. A war against a relentless enemy hell bent on not only the extermination of humanity but any “organics” that they can get their sights (or maybe I should say sensory apparatus) on.
There are plenty of enjoyable characters around and I do like that the political bullshitters and obstructionists are, apart from a few references, largely absent in this book. The people fighting this war do truly have the support of the upper management.
The Klassekians are playing a big role in this book and their support of the war effort is very nicely weaved into the story. I quite like how the author added their special gifts to the mix without making it into a super-hero, cheap way out, plot element.
My favourite in this book is definitely the I-take-no-bullshit admiral. She is just my kind of character. Heck I wish we would have some of her calibre at the place I work. Zero political correctness, zero ass-kissing and plenty of competence. Shit, I think I am in love with a book character!
Bottom line is that this is a great book. It is truly loaded with action and the action, especially the fleet action, is really, really very good. The humans are quite inventive in their strategies against the machines and I do like how the author manages to make the humans exploit the weaknesses of the machine intellects, especially the lack of intuition and imagination, without making it look cheap.
Now I have yet another book, the next instalment in this series, to look forward to. ...more