Rating: 4 out of 5
It’s quite easy to step into one of Mr Campbell’s novels, especially when he’s returned to the world where he’s already got more than ten novels waiting. Some parts of the book I knew would be there, like the ‘final battle’ and repetitive descriptions of some items—there for the first timer. That said, I think the latter was done better than in many previous cases, and the former also turned out to be a very interesting event. Of course, the one unchanged part about this was the hero of these stories, Jack Geary.
One of the slightly surprising aspects of this story was how much of it took place on planets: not one, but two planets were featured rather closely. In these cases it is always interesting to see what the author makes of the worlds they’ve imagined. In this case, one (Unity) was danger-riddled and not very hospitable while the other was as fine as a place could be. This contrasting was intentional, but also understandable given how much Geary’s stance is anti-modern nonsense as evidenced on Unity.
I also appreciated the more in-depth look at politics. It shouldn’t be that difficult to make a political story sound interesting, and Mr Campbell has opted for the method where two sides are at each other’s throats, using every available method (including light-speed time delay) to countermand the other’s orders and to try and make things more complicated. Similarly interesting were the scenes that took place at Fleet HQ, but I wish the author had put a bit more colour to that place and those people: as it stood, their relevance to everything got lost pretty quickly.n
Overall, I enjoyed this! As an easy and a quick read, this book is very good entertainment even if not particularly complex.