Well, we’ve come a long way since the first book. The Kleese have been pretty much defeated after they almost destroyed Earth and all humanity. The Alliance has grown stronger without the constant Kleese attacks, but the Zaltule are now becoming a problem. While the Kleese tried to wipe out their own warrior race, they didn’t successfully destroy all the Queens so now the Zaltule have prospered. They have become a formidable force ready to challenge the Humans and the Alliance and then go on to payback the Kleese for almost killing their Queens.
Except the Zaltule continue to underestimate the humans and the Alliance. Part of this is because the Zaltule are very arrogant and also very insecure. They have to keep reminding themselves that they are the “superior race and the lesser races should be subservient to them”. I don’t know how many times this mantra gets repeated, but it seems like a lot and it’s only in conversations between Zaltule and Kleese which are actually the same race. Anyway, the Humans and the Alliance have grown fairly strong and can hold their own even against a Zaltule attack. Still, both sides experience horrendous losses and it doesn’t go well for the Zaltule, but their arrogance won’t let them recognize the danger the Humans represent. (Edit: Why aren’t the humans part of the Alliance?)
This book is centered around the son of one of the main characters in the first books, Corporal Thomas Nelson. His parents are Colonel Ryan Nelson and his wife Casey. They both were also Marines having gone through the same training as their son. There’s also Brian, Kinsley, and Leah, all Marines and in training. Their training is going along fine with Thomas showing great promise as a leader. They soon will be completing their training and ready for this first real mission.
Then the High Command finds the location of the Zaltule home system. They have gotten some good recon on two planets, one of which appears to have three mountains that would hold three Zaltule Queens. Of course this system is heavily, heavily guarded. The Queen nest are also buried deep under the mountains were even a nuclear bomb won’t phase them. Supreme Overload Tetus has seen to the defenses of the mountains/nests and has ensured they would survive any attack by anyone foolish enough to even try. But, that’s exactly what the Human High Command decides to do.
Command knows they can’t successfully go in and just bomb the nests. They also know they can’t defeat all the Zaltule battleships orbiting around this planet. So, the only solution they come up with is to attack the nests from the inside. They draw up a plan to send Marines into the mountains with their objective to destroy all the Queens and all the eggs. Destruction of the Queens would mean the end of the Zaltule race.
So, you can guess which Marines get selected for this mission. While just out of basic training, Corporal now Lieutenant Nelson and his three friends along with a massive amount of other Marines are assigned what appears to be a suicide mission. The High Command believes they can get the Marines to the mountain and protect them while they go hunting deep inside, but they don’t have a clue as to how to get them off the planet, if their mission is a success.
A pretty good story-line, but it does seem like this is the end of this series. While it’s taken over six books to get to this point, the end comes pretty abruptly and doesn’t seem to really be a good end results, but who knows. Only time will tell. The ending is also not one you might expect.