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This one starts slowly as the Machiavellian schemes of Holt Fasner and Warden Dios are flushed out in great detail. However, when the story finally transitions back to the main characters aboard the ship Trumpet things really pick up speed. Fasner and Dios are locked in a battle of plots and schemes that puts the very government of Earth, and their own lives, in great peril. With a new bill being proposed that would move the UMCP (the human police) out from under Holt Fasner and over to the government itself, Fasner is willing to go to any length to stop such an action, including terrorist actions against the government. At the same time, the two of them are also manipulating events as they relate to Trumpet who is on the run from the Amnioni with multiple other ships in pursuit.
As is par for the course in this series, the three main protagonists are at each other's throats and vying for control of Trumpet while they run from the Amnioni and their other pursuers. They eventually head to an asteroid swarm that houses an illegal lab where they will attempt to unlock the formula behind the mutagen immunity drug that Dios and Fasner have kept secret for years. This might give them a weapon they can use to get back at the men behind the scenes that are making their lives miserable, but it is also the reason that the Amnioni will risk anything to stop them, including an overall war with humanity. The mutagens are the Amnioni's best weapon and an immunity drug could allow humanity to essentially wipe them out of existence.
Many lesser characters are flushed out in greater detail as the cast of impactful characters grows immensely and it all makes for a tense story that builds to a giant crescendo of a confrontation. Stephen R. Donaldson once again tells a very compelling story while his characters remain subjected to unending amounts of suffering and mental abuse. This series is extremely dark and gritty but it is well written and I am glad I finally gave it a try after ignoring it for so many years.
Scott Brick delivers another excellent performance and with one book left in the series I am totally hooked. At this point, I must know how it all plays out.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Scott Brick is the perfect narrator for this captivating tale of corruption, redemption, and heroism in the most unlikely places. Stephen R. Donaldson is a master of crafting stories with characters that have such depth that the line between good and evil is blurred beyond recognition.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful