For some odd reason I didn’t actually want to start reading this series. I’m not exactly sure why since Jay Allan is one of my favorite authors. His stories are always excellent and I have read every “Crimson World” series book he’s written plus his “Blood on the Stars” series as well. I followed Fleet Admiral Augustus Garrett and Erik Cane through all their epic battles. And then when the First Imperium appeared and Fleet Admiral Garrett managed to destroy the gate connecting our universe to theirs, I knew that a new series would be starting up concerning those left on the other side, the wrong side of that now destroyed gate. Yet, for some reason, I didn’t want to read about them.
But, as I gotten through a number of other books, I realize that I need to read this series if nothing else than I know the author is a good one and won’t let me down. And he sure didn’t. In this first book, you get to know the new characters that were kind of mentioned in the “Crimson World” series. Admiral Terrance Compton is now the Fleet Admiral for his abandon group of ships. He knew that Garrett had to do what he did and blow the warp gate in X1 or the First Imperium would have poured through and that would have been the end of humanity. If you remember, the First Imperium is an enemy without feelings. They are machines doing only what they are instructed to do. They feel nothing; no pain, no remorse, no terror and absolutely no fear. They just kill and kill until there is no enemy left or they are totally destroyed. There are way too many First Imperium assets for humanity to ever destroy. The war with them has clearly proven that.
Now, Admiral Compton has 242 ships and 48,000+ crew that are on the wrong side of the destroyed warp gate. They cannot go back home, ever! Trapped in First Imperium space, the immediately try to find a way to not immediately get destroyed. They are in the X2 system just beyond the destroyed warp gate and are fighting a multitude of First Imperium warships. Fortunately, while the First Imperium has some advance technology and superior weapons, they don’t have any kind of tactical sense. It’s as though they know they have far greater numbers to throw at the small human fleet, so their losses really don’t matter. But, losses to the human fleet will cost them dearly so they can’t stand toe-to-toe and fight it out.
Admiral Compton is a brilliant tactician. He can see the opportunities during a battle that few others can. So, he does what he does and manages to get his fleet out of the X2 system and into the next and the next, going as fast and as far as they can to try and outrun the First Imperium. Admiral Compton has to make a decision that probably won’t set well with his people. His fleet is a mix of different Alliance vessels that had banded together to fight the common enemy. By decree, Admiral Terrance Compton was put in command of the fleet when they all operated under Augustus Garrett. Now he has to keep this group together, to fight as one unit or they will all be destroyed.
But what is their goal? Do they just keep running from the First Imperium for ever or do they try and find a new home or do they try to find a way home. That is the decision facing Admiral Terrance Compton. He know which of those courses of action he must choose, but if he does, he also knows he might have to fight to keep the fleet together. And fighting among themselves is something they cannot afford to do.
So, I’m hooked on this series. It started off great. I got to know a lot of new characters and Jay Allan always does a good job of character describing. And there are a number of important characters. Greta Hurley or rather Admiral Hurley is one tough fighter wing commander. She’s tough as nails and doesn’t take no for any answer. Then there’s Max Harmon, Captain Harmon to be formal. He’s almost like the son that Admiral Compton never had. He’s also a great admirer of Admiral Compton and feels like he is almost the father he never had. They both work very well together, but Admiral Compton realizes that he can’t be so selfish as to keep Max Hamon out of harms way. Everyone in the fleet is is in some kind of danger.
I’ve already gone on to read book two, “Shadow of the Gods”, and since book three is already published, I’ve got that also. I just might continue reading straight through this series until I run out of books!