Second book in the Silver Ships series. I don’t know how to exactly describe these books. They are magnificent writings on the human spirit and what it means to be human. Yes, these are science fiction books. But, they are much more. They should be teaching us how we should be treating each other and even those things we just take for granted. I am amazed at how the writing in these books stirs my emotions. Very few books I have read do it as much as these two books.
In “Libre”, Alex Racine, Admiral Racine and his Family Alexander aboard the starship Rêveur have set out to return his partly Méridian crew back to their home world or at least back to their Confederation. With the defeat and capture of a Silver Ship at the planet Bellamonde, Admiral Racine needs to find some allies in the Confederation to help him make repairs and then go back after the Silver Ships. They know they can be defeated, they just need to have the assets to do so.
The approach the planet Libre hoping to find such allies. It appears that the entire Confederation is in a panic to flee this region of space. The Méridians have no sense of war. They would rather give up all their homes, everything they have built over the centuries instead of fighting. It’s the same on Libre. One faction is true Méridians. They have been hastily building two gigantic city-ships in which they intend to board and flee to some far off reaches of space where the Silver Ships hopefully won’t find them. The other faction on Libre is the Independents. These are the outcast from Méridian society. These people don’t know how to follow the rules, are independent thinkers, and often challenge authority. Their actions go against everything the Méridian society believes in so they have isolated these “troublemakers” to the planet Libre. Fortunately, the Independents are just the kind of people Admiral Racine needs to have for allies.
While originally intending to use the planet as a staging area to build up a vast armada with which to attack the Silver Ships, those plans are abruptly halted when it’s realized that they either have the time to evacuate the planet’s population via the city-ships or build war ships. They can’t do both. The SADEs (intelligent shipboard computers) calculate that the Silver Ships will vacate Bellamonde in 90 to 120 days. It will take the humans at least 178 days to have everything ready for both city-ships to depart and reach their FTL exit point safety. And those calculations assume everything is done without error or delays of any kind.
This book will tell you in detail how these New Terrans and their cousins, the Méridians find some common ground to work together for a common goal. It is awfully idealistic, but there are a lot of good people trying to get things done. Even with all their vast efforts, it is realized that a very small number of Librans will have to be left behind. The writing is very humanistic and really covers the tragic impact of their struggles.
I enjoyed this book very, very much. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, which I understand should be coming in early 2016. I can’t wait.