CENTURIES AFTER THEY WERE DEFEATED AND EXILED TO DARK SPACE, THE STURM HAVE RETURNED.
The Sturm, an empire of species purists, have returned from the farthest reaches of Dark Space to wage a war against what they call mutants and borgs: any human being with genetic or neural engineering. In a sneak attack, they overwhelmed almost all of humanity's defences, blasting vicious malware across galaxy-spanning networks: dark code that transformed anyone connected to the system into a mindless psychotic killer. The Sturm's victory seemed complete, their final triumph inevitable, until one small band of intrepid, unlikely heroes struck back.
Commander Lucinda Hardy and Admiral Frazer McLennan used the Armadalen Navy's final surviving warship to fend off the Sturm, destroying the massed power of an entire Attack Fleet. With brilliant tactics – and support from drunken, grief-ravaged pirate Sephina L'trel and treasonous battle-rig operator Booker3 – this ragtag crew sent the Sturm running, managing to save Princess Alessia, the sole surviving heir to the gigantic Montanblanc Corporation and perhaps Earth's only remaining senator.
Now left with the remains of a fallen civilization, they must work together to rebuild what was lost and root out the numberless enemies of Earth. The Sturm invaders remain vastly more powerful – and they may not be the only threat lurking in the darkness of space.
'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