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Light of Impossible Stars

(Embers of War #3)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  917 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Award-winning author Gareth L. Powell delivers an explosive conclusion to his epic Embers of War trilogy.

Low on fuel and hunted by the Fleet of Knives, the sentient warship Trouble Dog follows a series of clues that lead her to the Intrusion--an area of space where reality itself becomes unstable. But with human civilisation crumbling, what difference can one battered old
Paperback, 367 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Titan Books (UK)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  917 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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3,5 stars. The final book of the 'Embers of War' trilogy *throws confetti in the air*. I have to admit, the ideas in these books are quite 'big'. We have alien artefacts, parallel universes, void dragons, mysterious alien species, and a time/galaxy spanning human colonisation.

I really enjoyed the first two books (character and plot-wise), but this one felt a bit scripted. If I didn't see the chapter headers, I would've guessed it was all told from one perspective - the narrator. Every character
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feeling off for nearly 2 months now so it is getting harder to concentrate. I started this read at the start in May and just now finished it. Not cause I don't like it, but I am not in a good headspace. We have loud new neighbours and they are not changing. I have yet to find a way to deal with it. We are now a week away in nature, and I finally managed to find room to read!

I really enjoyed this series, it is easy and fast to get through with a wonderful set of characters, new ones and plots co
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This provided a good end for our ship , her captain and crew. I wish it had been a little longer, I would have liked to spend more time learning about the Druff. And a little more set up for the plates and the incursion. That's me though and it was still a great adventure and I feel quite satisfied. This series surprised me and I can say that it is most recommended. ...more
The Captain
Nov 27, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: walk-the-plank
Ahoy me mateys! Grab your grog! Here be book 3 of the 10th installment of the 3 Bells trilogy showcase where for 3 days straight I will be reviewing 3 books in a row. The catch is that the 3 books will showcase an entire trilogy. So throw your 3 sheets to the wind and get ready to celebrate with me. Grog optional . . .

Unpopular opinion time! I really did not like the last book of this trilogy. I still love Trouble Dog and Sal. But ultimately the story went places that I didn’t care about and fou
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read
This is the third and final book of the Embers Of War trilogy by Gareth L. Powell. A nice feature of the series is that although each book advances the overarching story, they are also readable on their own with each having self-contained plots. They should definitely be read in order (because Powell is ruthless about killing off major characters): Embers Of War, Fleet of Knives and The Light of Impossible Stars.

In the third book we are introduced to a new major character, Cordelia Pa, and her b
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining and exciting conclusion to the hugely enjoyable Embers of War trilogy. The starship, Trouble Dog, part human, part dog, part machine, is such a fantastic creation and it was good to spend more time with her and her crew, especially Nod. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Mar 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A predictable, phoned in conclusion, with about a novelette’s worth of plot, a massively powerful deus ex machina to take care of the bad guys, and endless swathes of pointless explication, dreams, descriptions, and side plots. Just read the dialog and skim the won’t miss anything significant and will have several hours of your life free to get into something better.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
3.5 for interesting ideas and some thoughts about loss and growing a conscience and trying to make ethical decisions in war (which I guess is a thing and one I’m glad I never have to consider).

The writing was uneven and the author maybe added a few extra twists towards the end that made it busy. The first two books of the trilogy worked better. Still a satisfying end to the series.
Kylie Burkot
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
3.75 stars
Jon Adams
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect ending to an excellent trilogy.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the Embers of War series by Gareth L. Powell. In this one the sentient warship "Trouble Dog" and crew are searching for a way to combat the Fleet of Knives. Meanwhile Cordelia Pa is approached by strangers in a battered spaceship owned by her estranged father. She soon finds out that she is very special indeed. It may very well fall upon her shoulders to save humankind from the spacial dragons. She will need, however, to help the Trouble Dog and crew stop the Fleet of K ...more
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this book kinda killed the series for me.

Everything went pretty well til the last 5th of the book where the pacing and conclusion of multiple story lines led to poor pacing and an anticlimactic finish.

Sure. Perform a sex change operation in the middle of a battle. That might have had an impact if the character was more important than "bland unpleasant ancillary character" that was only introduced a handful of pages earlier.

Oh, now the MC has a romantic interest in that character? Ok, cool. 30
Mike Finn
"Light of Impossible Stars" is a deeply satisfying read that does something very rare: it ends a trilogy in a way that not only doesn't disappoint but excites and surprises.

I loved the first two books in this trilogy, "Embers Of War" and "Fleet of Knives" so I'd pre-ordered the final book and dived into it as soon as it arrived.

Like it's predecessors, it was a fast-paced, page-turning, epic science fiction story, crammed with original ideas and strong world-building, yet what kept me reading wer
Emae Church
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The perfect end to an amazing series of books.

As with the other two books, I read the book and listened to the amazing Audible version. The voice actors across the whole series have been pure brilliant.

I love the expression, "Hound of Difficulty." There is so much clear visualisation in this book and the previous ones.

When Cordelia Pa came into the mix, I thought, what? Where's she come from? And this late in the game (of the story)? But no, Gareth has introduced her exactly where she was neede
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just great scifi!!!!
Elspeth Cooper
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have loved everything about this trilogy, from the expansive worldbuilding and complex characters to the smallest throwaway lines that made me go "Ouch". It's been beautiful, dramatic, funny, and heartbreaking by turns; all the fun of an exuberant space opera shot through with reflections on war, sacrifice and redemption - not forgetting the teenage snark of Trouble Dog and the quiet wisdom of Nod.

I shall miss these characters very much.

Mark Harrison
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant end to a high quality series as the various characters head to a huge battle with the deadly Fleet Of Knives and the Space Dragons. High octane thrill fest and satisfying conclusions. Superb series.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concluding the Embers of War trilogy in style, Gareth L. Powell has offered up a gloriously big-hearted and engaging space opera that will appeal to fans of Babylon 5, Iain M. Banks, and Charles Stross.

It's a genuinely fun adventure novel with likable protagonists, and with more grist for the intellectual mill than you would expect at first glance.

There are details of the story that caught me entirely by surprise, but also fit perfectly within the narrative. There are so many details that I'm
Bonnie McDaniel
This is the third book in the Embers of War trilogy, and it's a crackling good read that ties up all the storylines in a most satisfying manner. The sentient warship Trouble Dog, fleeing from the alien Fleet of Knives she accidentally unleashed on humanity, has to regroup with her crew and a new player to defeat both that fleet and the higher-dimension creatures called "Scourers" to triumph.

There's a new character introduced in this book that we spend quite a lot of time with, and at first I wa
I'm hovering between 2 and 3 stars.

There is some way cool stuff here, the world of the "plates" for example, and I could have easily spent more than one book in that environment. The Incursion is also interesting, and the "reality quakes".

But too much fantasy (the hypervoid creatures), way, way too much deus ex machina -- the perfect saviour who resolves the problem with a flick of the hands. Everything gets too "epic" for my taste. Powell keeps killing off characters (and ships, and entire plan
Seregil of Rhiminee
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Gareth L. Powell's Light of Impossible Stars is the final novel in the Embers of War series of space opera novels about the sentient warship Trouble Dog and its crew. It's an excellent sequel to Embers of War and Fleet of Knives, because the author delivers a satisfying conclusion to his trilogy. This novel brings back the familiar characters from the previous novels and continues their story.

The Embers of War trilogy has quickly become one of my favourite mo
The previous instalments in this trilogy, Embers of War and Fleet of Knives, have been some of the best space opera I've ever read. Of course they deal with a future where humanity is stretched across a vast expanse of space and relies on highly advanced spaceships, but they do this without ignoring more familiar parts of the human experience: love, family, abandonment, grief… Perhaps it's a sad indictment of most space opera that this alone impresses me, but whatever, this kind of humanist far- ...more
The Trouble Dog's crew is once again racing against time, hoping to come up with a solution to beat both the Fleet of Knives and the invasion of monsters in space. Dealing with loss throughout their trek across the galaxy.

I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I did the other two. It just had so much build up throughout the trilogy and so the end just felt lackluster.
I felt that Trouble Dog, Ona Sudak and Penitence all had character development in this book but not Sal. (view spoiler)
Douglas Berry
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing

After reading Embers of War and Fleet of Knives my one concern wasn't if the third book would be good, but rather how Powell would tie everything up into a satisfying conclusion. I shouldn't have doubted, the climax of the novel is breathtaking in scope and execution.

I'm not going into too many details here, as all the action depends on knowing what happened in the previous books, but things have gone from potentially better to horrifically worse. The fate of civilization rests with the crew
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't think it can be denied that the Embers of War trilogy is a well-written hunk of Space Opera, packed with imaginative ideas, and satisfying artefacts. I've zipped through the three books (interspersing them with other genre choices, as is my wont) pretty smartly for me (not the fastest reader), only slowed down a little on this occasion by various life commitments . Epic in scale, galaxy-spanning in scope: it certainly hits all the notes that I am looking for in this most popular of SF su ...more
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have really enjoyed the first two books of the series, so I put my name on the list with my library to get the third. The Trouble Dog and her motley crew are a joy to follow. The author writes superbly, with a prose that moves fast, but contains wonderful gems. A heavy cruiser with a conscience has to be one of the most compelling characters in space opera.

No spoilers here. Just that Nod has some of the best lines, as usual. My tagged lines are below. We learn more about the Fleet of Knives,
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third and presumably final part of the Embers War story is a fun read but for me, the least of the trilogy. It's a similarly fun and fast paced read as the first two, short, sharp chapters, each in first person perspective from different characters in the story, but drifts a bit too far into fantasy for my taste. Following on from the previous novel, the crew of Trouble Dog are on the run from the Fleet of Knives. Meanwhile, a race of dragon like beings, the Scourers, are tearing up spaceshi ...more
Martin Huijgen
** Previous books' spoiler alert **

The Fleet of Knives are on the loose. Their assignment: prevent war and agression in the Multiplicity. Their method: preemtively destroy all war capable vessels. As a result commerce between planets is coming to a halt and societies are crumbling. Former warship the Trouble Dog and her captain Sal Konstanz are feverishly looking for counter measures.

The Fleet are hesitant to enter a special area called The Intrusion, which their creators used to flee this galax
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Sal, Trouble Dog and the gang are back for the final instalment of one of my fave space opera series of all time! LIGHT OF IMPOSSIBLE STARS delivers everything I’ve come to love about Gareth Powell’s writing; literary characters in a pulp setting, snappy dialogue and deep themes delivered in tight, fast-paced prose. Plus Alien references, an AI in a clown costume, Dutch cyborgs and motherfucking reality quakes! I devoured this book in a single day, delighted in every second of it and now I just ...more
It was an interesting concept which is what kept me going to the end. So I guess in some ways it was successful and the battle was won by the author in that he suckered me into paying for this pile of hot garbage. I fear he has lost the war as it has soured me on him as an author. The search for Asimov 2.0 continues for me. I guess he was attempting to take on larger philosophical concepts and navigate us to some sort of epiphany and higher level understanding. Instead I felt everyone in this bo ...more
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Gareth L. Powell is an award-winning author from the UK. His alternate history thriller, Ack-Ack Macaque won the 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel, spawned two sequels, and was shortlisted in the Best Translated Novel category for the 2016 Seiun Awards in Japan. His short fiction has appeared in a host of magazines and anthologies, including Interzone, Solaris Rising 3, and The Year’s Best Science Fi ...more

Other books in the series

Embers of War (3 books)
  • Embers of War (Embers of War, #1)
  • Fleet of Knives (Embers of War, #2)

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