"Fine epic science fiction"
Two decades have passed since the Jao conquered the Earth,
but the victors still debate what to do with the defeated
humans. Many Jao believe extermination by total
destruction of the planet is the final solution. Some
like newly arrived Commander Aille believes winning the
hearts of the humans is the best long term solution.
Before the Jao can resolve the human problem, they have to
contend with the deadly Ekhat, who plan to commit solar
system genocidal eradicating human and Jao without a
second thought. The Ekhat turned the Jao into sentient
beings, but expected loyal servitude bonds instead of
ungrateful rebellion. For Human and Jao to vanquish the
Ekhat they must forge more than an alliance. They need a
consensus that is much greater than a simple summing of
the parts. Only leaders like Aille and the human
Stockwells have the foresight to see what must be done,
but each race has xenophobics sitting in key positions.
This futuristic tale works on several levels as readers
will believe that the Jao and Ekhat exist as well as the
conquering of the planet has occurred. The action is fast
and furious so that this work will appeal to military
science fiction buffs. However, the strength of the tale
resides in the social, anthropologic, technological, and
political make-up of the Jao and the Humans. Readers will
observe the difficulty of blending the best of the
conquered and the conqueror into a seamless oneness that
might prove capable of surviving the Ekhat. Eric Flint
and K.D. Wentworth provide a triumphant story that is as
much cerebral as it is action-packed.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 27, 2003