The fourth book in the epic saga of humankind's war of transcendence
Humanity had appeared to fend off the Sh'daar assault once and for all, though they never learned why the alien empire was driven to halt Earth's advancement toward technological Singularity.
But in this war of worlds, victory is always elusive. And now a new battle begins.
After 20 years of peace, not one but two fragile truces are unraveling. Alexander Koenig, the former Navy commander whose heroics forced the Sh'daar into submission, has won a second term as President of the United States of North America. But pursuing his mandate - sovereignty from the centuries-old Earth Confederation - becomes a risky proposition due to events taking place on the other side of the galaxy. A Confederation research vessel has been ambushed. Destroyers are descending on a human colony. It seems the Sh'daar have betrayed their treaty, and all nations must stand united - or face certain death.
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Somewhat lost the plot there a bit.
New to the series? No. As a continuation, yes, but with a few caveats. He lost the plot here a bit. Instead of continuing the question between Aliens and Humans, we now spend a whole lot of time on a contrived internal human conflict that really only makes sense if you somehow belief in American Exceptionalism.
Not from the genre, but I am questioning if I want to read the next book in the series.
I think he adds a bit more character to the individuals he portraits. Douglas isn't really all that good in creating characters, they all are pretty two-dimensional.
Still split on it. It was more of what was expected, but at the same time also more disappointing.
I wish Douglas would concentrate on the human vs.alien dynamic instead of trying to project human global politics 500 years into the future. The problem for me, as a non-american, is simply that I don't buy American Exceptionalism and his repeated retreat to it is annoying. It was, I admit, always there, but in the past books it was more a bit of a faint echo in the back, with this book though he has gone full tilt.
So yes, he's America and served in the military and that he concentrates on ships that could be considered American is understandable and forgivable. But his portrail of the rest of humanity is less than flattering. If they aren't scheming people who try to destroy the "United States" (thinly veiled as USNA), they are shown as completely militarily incompetent. Funnily enough, it seems, they also all seem to be French. Guess Douglas likes his cheese eating surrender monkeys.
- M. Kalus "Jack of all Trades, Master of None"
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