Space opera on an epic scale – as it should be. Part two of a violently energetic and energetically entertaining three-part mil-SF extravaganza.
Centuries after they were defeated and exiled to Dark Space, the Sturm have returned. Disgusted by the new technologies humankind have come to depend on, they intend to liberate us, by force if necessary.
With their advanced tech rendered null by the Sturm's attack, humanity face certain annihilation. Their only hope lies with a few brave souls who survived the initial onslaught: the Commander of the Royal Armadalen Navy's only surviving warship; a soldier sentenced to die; a young royal, forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed; the leader of an outlaw band, and the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm hundreds of years ago.
If they are to stand any chance of survival, these five heroes must shed their modern technology and become the enemy. Their resistance might be humanity's only hope.
'Birmingham's gripping novel launches readers into a genocidal interstellar war amid sudden violence and dark humor ... 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), on The Cruel Stars.
'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