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The stage is set for confrontation at Billingate - illegal shipyard, haven for pirates and brigands, where every vice flourishes and every appetite can be sated. Gateway to the alien realm of the Amnion, the shipyard is a clearinghouse for all they require to fulfill their mutagenic plans against humanity. It is here that the fate of Morn Hyland is to be decided amid a kaleidoscopic whirl of plot and counterplot, treachery and betrayal. As schemes unravel to reveal yet deeper designs, Morn, Nick, and Angus' lives may all be forfeit as pawns in the titanic game played our between Warden Dios, dedicated director of the UMC Police, and the Dragon, greed-driven ruler of the UMC.
Here, the future of humankind hangs on the uncertain fortune of Morn Hyland in a daring novel of epic power and suspense, relentlessly gripping from first page to last.
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By Lore on 11-10-16
Desperate times for everyone
Never forget that when Stephen R. Donaldson is the man doing the writing that there is no end to the misery that the universe will dump onto the main characters. It is no surprise when fate (aka Donaldson) conspires to back all three of his protagonists into a corner at the same location in Forbidden Space, a little outpost known as Billingate. This illegal outpost, where human pirates and Amnion conduct dark dealings, becomes the backdrop for the convergence of Angus, Nick, and Morn and all the vitriol they carry for each other. It is not mere coincidence that this happens because two of the most powerful men in existence, Holt Fasner, head of the United Mining Company, and Warden Dios, head of the UMCP, are plotting against each other and using Morn, Angus, and Nick as unwilling pawns in their struggle.
After Nick Succorso discovered that Davies was not his child, and that Morn's passion for him had been fake all along, he decided to get back at her by trading her son to the Amnion. The Amnion eagerly agreed to the trade because of their desire to conduct mutagenic experiments on Davies. Morn, still a prisoner aboard Nick's ship, manages to divert Davies' pod at the last instant away from the Amnion ship and toward Billingate where he winds up a prisoner. Of course this makes Nick Succorso furious because he is now in a position of total weakness as his ship arrives at Billingate with little to bargain for the return of Davies and no other way to make good on his promise to the Amnion. Meanwhile, Angus, who is now a fully 'welded' cyborg, is also sent to Billingate on a secret mission by Warden Dios and thus the reunion is complete.
The story remains interesting and the slow reveal of the bigger picture raises the stakes; however, there is no end to the creative and sinister use of technology to make the lives of the main characters miserable. Since it is hard to feel sorry for any of them, except Morn, one needs to just sit back and ponder how things are going to get worse for everyone in the next chapter. Scott Brick remains his steady self as the narrator of the series so if you found the first two books compelling there is no reason that you shouldn't continue with this one.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful