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Head of Zeus
The Cruel Stars
The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham
 The Cruel Stars Trilogy, 1

They thought the Sturm were dead. They were wrong.

Centuries after their defeat, the enemy has returned with an overwhelming attack on the fringes of human space. On the brink of annihilation, humankind's only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial onslaught: Commander Lucinda Hardy, commander of the Royal Armadalen Navy's only surviving warship; Booker3, a soldier of Earth, sentenced to die for treason; Alessia, a young royal forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed; Sephina L'trel, the leader of an outlaw band.

And, finally, retired Admiral Frazer McLennan, the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm, who hopes to rout his old foes once and for all – or die trying.

These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For if they fail, the future itself is doomed.

Head of Zeus * Science Fiction
05 Mar 2020 * 496pp * £8.99 * 9781789545937
REVIEWS
'Gripping ... Birmingham alternates between gut punches and laugh-out-loud humor, with some gore and thought-provoking philosophy thrown in for good measure ... Plenty of twists, sharp turns, and fateful encounters will keep readers guessing and turning pages. This jarring, engrossing story of a species-wide fight for survival is recommended for all science fiction readers'
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'Canters along at a good clip, dashing off insane cannibals, exploding warships, detached heads, and cartwheeling body parts, with occasional transfusions of dark comic relief. Some highlights: McLennan appears stark naked to greet a bunch of pompous bigwigs; in a riotous bar scene, Sephina and crew, Yakuza, and Sturm all blaze away at each other; Booker's dismay at being loaded into a mechanical hedge trimmer ... Frenetic action viewed in a black fun-house mirror'
Kirkus
There are few works of sci-fi today that put readers on the edge of their seats as well as giving them food for thought, and Birmingham succeeds at both'
New York Journal of Books
'Fantastic ... A fast-paced, exciting space adventure that I definitely recommend!'
Fred Weasley Died Laughing (BookTube)
PRAISE FOR JOHN BIRMINGHAM:

'Glorious excitement and meticulous density' Sci-Fi.com, on Axis of Time.

'The action is nonstop, the characters very real – and very different from each other – and, to coin a phrase, it makes you think'
 S.M. Stirling, on Final Impact
ALSO IN THE SERIES
Author
John Birmingham
John Birmingham
John Birmingham was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, but grew up in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. Between writing books he contributes to a wide range of newspapers and magazines on topics as diverse as biotechnology and national security. He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.
ALSO BY John Birmingham
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