After Captain Tolvern and the sentinel battle station fight off a ferocious Apex assault, Admiral Drake sends her into Hroom territory to repair the wounded HMS Blackbeard and collect a fleet of Hroom warships. While Drake probes the deep void searching for the main enemy force, Tolvern and the Hroom spaceyards are assaulted by a massive Apex battleship that intends to harvest Hroom and human alike for its bloody rituals.
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Fantastic Story & Narration & Lead in to FInal
This is the next continuation in the series as Drake and his forces continue their battle against the Apex. The Apex are this bird like species, and trust me, after you listen to some of the stuff that they do to people, you will never look at birds the same way again. They are a truly evil race. The Apex are ‘Apex Predators’, who take particular pleasure in not just hunting their prey, but then capturing their prey so that they eat them in the most gruesome way possible, piece by slow little piece. This is probably a good time to warn some people that this book is not for those who are a bit squeamish. However, there are several things that do happen within this book. The war with the Apex begins to heat up, it is like a complex chess game, with Tolvern and the Blackbeard being like a Knight, and the Hroom are a combination of Pawns and Rooks/Castles depending on which ships they are. Although Drake is obviously the Queen for the Albion forces, with the power of Dreadnaught, he is not around to help, still coming (or so Tolvern hopes). Added to this, the Albion side have almost a 2nd Queen in the Sentinel station, like a converted Pawn. With the secret weapon within its hull, the Apex have no idea what might hit them. However, as the chess pieces move about, it is like they are being controlled by 3 or 4 separate players who haven’t played the game before. On the other side, the Apex know exactly what they are doing, and move to take both the Station, the Hroom fleets, and Blackbeard. Dragon Quadrant is a book that is full of dramatic little battles, and the moving of all the pieces into place for the final showdown in the final book. However, whilst it does mean that you have to listen to/read the 3rd book for the obvious conclusion, this book provides some good insight into the Hroom (finally), the fate of the Singaporean Empire, how they split from the original empire all that time ago and what became of them, and even more fascinating, it gives a very good insight into the hierarchy and structure, even some of the culture of the Apex. Wallace has done an incredible job of bringing to life this alien race that is a violent, predatorial species with that seeks to be the greatest apex predator in the galaxy, and has set about not just conquering any other species they have met, but annihilating them, devouring the bodies of their victims, and salvaging what the fleet needs to move on to its next conquest. They have multiple ship classes for just this use, from smaller craft, right up to enormous ‘harvester’ class vessels that are used to scour every living being off the planet. This is a really good book, a brutal look at how hard war is, the true struggle that each of the crew has to face to survive against an unforgiving and relentless enemy that will stop at nothing. The character work is very clever again, especially that about those that have worked on the Sentinel station for too long, have become set in their ways, as people would. It is incredibly realistic, making this a very good book, adding a level of depth to it. This was a brilliant sequel not just to this series, but to the overall series, and is a must. It sets up the final for Shattered Sun beautifully, making this an outstanding set of books.