It's been nearly 200 years since the collapse of the Confederacy, the last government to claim humanity's colonies. So when signals come in revealing lost human colonies that could shift the power balance, the race is on between the Caliphate ships and a small team of scientists and mercenaries. But what awaits them all is a threat far beyond the scope of any human government.
“…a surprisingly balanced combination of political intrigue (subversive manipulations and deceptions from mysterious characters), fast action (shootouts, crash landings, and rescue attempts) and meticulous world building (alien cultures, shared minds, forbidden technologies, character and race histories, etc.)….[An] ultimately worthy space opera that never fails to involve the reader.” (SF Signal)
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Great Original Sci-Fi
Not his earlier moreau work
Loved Swann's earlier moreau trilogy / quartet. They all very much had the hard-boiled detective, noir feel to them.
This is a foray into a more conventional type of science fiction, and lacks the pared down and direct plotting of his earlier work. Felt sprawling and unfocused to me, and the characters were less engaging. I didn't see Swann's earlier works on audible. Do yourself a favor and get them in paperback, or on a kindle. They're well worth reading.
- Gary Crawford