Everybody thought the Sturm were dead, engulfed by the Dark. 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, thrust into uncertain command of the Royal Armadalen Navy’s only surviving warship; Booker3, a soldier of Earth, sentenced to die for treason, whose time on Death Row is cut short by the invasion; Alessia, a young royal of the Montanblanc Corporation, forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed; Sephina L’trel, the leader of an outlaw band who must call on all of their criminal skills to resist the invasion. And, finally, retired Admiral Frazer McLennan, the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm hundreds of years ago, 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.
I LOVED this.
It came along just when I needed a bookish adventure and The Cruel Stars was full of adventure. Well and a naked professor, a sarcastic intelligence, a flustered captain and a whole host of bad guys. Plus a princess, a pirate, a hedge trimmer (making me laugh quite a lot) and a few other good guys. I mean really, what’s not to love?
The world building is beautifully done giving you a sense of the scene that lights up the action. A motley group of survivors battling away, the group dynamic is cool and clever and the plot has plenty of layers to keep you turning the pages.
I always love a good fight against the odds and the pay off in this is spectacular, setting us up for book 2 with flair and a strong emotional heart.
The best kind of science fiction drama. The kind that removes you from the real world for a few hours and let’s you vicariously blow s*** up.