“My mother didn’t raise any optimists. ‘Always look for the clouds,’ she told me. ‘That way all your surprises will be silver linings.’”
A competent, if pedestrian, space opera of the techno-military sort. Multiple plot treads weave among half a dozen key characters to give the reader a comprehensive yet personal view from the surprise invasion of an independent human-settled world through the moves and counter moves of the opposing militaries to support or oppose that invasion.
“Even in the best of moods, he seemed to be perpetually one match short of an explosion.”
Technology is consistent and techno-miracles are kept to a minimum. The “good guys” are based on a quasi-British commonwealth model; the bad guys are more anonymously universal aggressors.
“It looks as if the human animal will find a way to fight no matter the obstacles. I’ve become quite willing to accept the argument that it’s hardwired into our genes.”
Despite this being his series’ opener, Shelley manages a satisfying conclusion while setting many hooks to draw the reader to the next book.
“I might serve the Commonwealth more by dying in battle than I can do alive. Symbolism is important.”