Rating:

4 Small Stars
Earth Shadows

Warning! If you tend to get depressed easily, you should probably not read this book. It is very depressing as is the series as a whole. Yes, we have defeated the “scum”; killed the scum Emperor in his den on his home planet. They are no more. Yet, once again we’ve encountered another deadly alien menace, the Marauders! Only, this time, Earth is all but defenseless. The idiot’s on Earth have decided that we no longer need a huge space military and have let thing decay to the point that Earth can barely defend itself if attacked. Earth knows about the Maruaders and offered them human sacrifices to appease their hunger for human brains. Yeah, I said that right. These aliens desire human brains to feast upon and they like them when they have been terrorized to extreme measures.

Soon, our “bribes” to the Marauders weren’t enough and their hordes decided to attack humanity and take what it wanted. Earth fell quickly as did Mars and all other human colonies. Addy Linden, Marco Emery, Lailani De la Rosa, and Captain Einav Ben-Ari have had their share of very bad luck. Now, their luck has turned even worse! The four don’t remain together as long as they should with Addy being captured by the Marauders and taken aboard one of their ships. Meanwhile, the other three have fled Haven after barely surviving themselves. It was unfortunate that Addy was captured, and the three remaining vow to rescue her as soon as they possibly can. That might be a very long, long time.

This is a very dark book. There is a lot of internal conversations going on in the minds of what was once, very young people. Now, aged by constant war, they have memories that would kill lesser humans. Yet, these young people are resilient if nothing else. I don’t necessarily care for all the internal, touchy-feely, dialogue, but the author does it well. You can’t really know the thoughts of another human unless you put them there and that’s what the author is doing. Whether a real person would do as much sole-searching, self recrimination and other defeatist stuff is questionable. Still, what they are going through is constant; always being chased by the Marauders who seem to know where they are going and what they are trying to do. The team of Marco, Lailani, and Captain Ben-Ari don’t seem to be as vigilant as they should be. They are on a very fast starship accompanied by a captured Marauder ship traveling through hyperspace, yet they don’t seem to have any way of detecting approaching ships. They get attacked by more Marauders very quickly and seem to lose every battle.

Addy, on the other hand, is taken back to a conquered Earth to see and become of unspeakable horrors. The book is very dark and depressing, especially now. There is some hope, but not very much. Addy is a fighter and she never backs down from anything, but there are so many, many vicious marauders ready to tear her apart and literally eat her body. There is a disgusting element to the book, but that only makes it that much better. In jest, I would say the author has a very sick mind!

I can’t wait for the sixth book. At some point there has to be an end to all this death and destruction. All of our heroes find themselves in impossible positions and it doesn’t appear to be anyway out. Earth has been conquered, plain and simple, and all humans are now being processed like cattle through slaughterhouses. Something has to turn around and I’m very interested in seeing what the author does to bring some kind of satisfactory ending to the terribly dark and depressing story.

Read the series. If you like science fiction, you’ll love everyone of these books.