Science Fiction, Military Sci-Fi
Oct. 25th, 2017
A Review By Chris Fried
Following up from the events of Attack of Shadows, book four of Galaxy’s Edge, we get a story that finds out what the crew of the Indelible VI has been doing since Galactic Outlaws, the second novel in the series. We also get to see a story that was obliquely referred to in book four but not shown. Namely, how the shipyards were destroyed and who was involved in accomplishing this goal. After being tasked to extract Captain Chhun’s Victory Squad from a tight situation, they team up with Wraith and the motley crew of the Indelible VI to take down the shipyards on Tarrago Prime. In the process, they also want to deny Goth Sullus the prize he’s so desperately seeking and set about to destroy it. But unbeknownst to them, another faction of the Republic has set a secret mission in motion, one that could have disastrous consequences for the galaxy if it fails!
The action is relentless and unexpected, a hallmark of this series to date. From one-to-one combat, using fancy weapons and creative ways of killing your targets and using teamwork to provide cover to accomplish overall squad goals, this novel has it all. Once again, it effectively demonstrates the intensity of combat, the value of a trusted teammate covering your back and out-of-the-box thinking to extricate themselves from a situation that looks hopeless. The relentlessness of war, the staggering losses and the politics of a corrupt government all have a role to play in this novel. I particularly liked the missiles imbued with some limited artificial intelligence as they (literally) make for really smart weapons. What was done with these weapons was particularly exciting and added an extra level of excitement to the battles they were used in.
One of the other hallmarks of this series is knowing that the story will always unpredictably shock you with where it will go next. As the story pivots from one part of the novel to the next, it is a true bombshell when we see where it ends up. The idea here comes out of left field and was a true jaw-dropper when I saw how it played out. I was amazed, astonished, delighted and ultimately chilled by the results, as it represents the darkest turn yet in a series filled with them.
When Wraith meets up with Captain Chhun’s kill team from Dark Ops, it’s a reunion of sorts with old friends. Chhun and his cohorts used to be commanded by Wraith during his Dark Ops days portrayed in the first three novels in the series that take place five years before the current timeline. This novel brings us up to speed on what those characters have been doing along with some other characters we’re familiar with. The wistfulness of those days from the past and the feelings it stirs up in Wraith as he heads into battle as a Legionnaire once more are one of the most interesting developments for this character to date.
This is the first time since the second novel that we get to hang out with the Indelible VI crew and I’ve missed seeing them in this series. Filled with some off-beat and distinguishing characters, they are all true standouts and they get plenty of development as well. What was especially striking was Prisma, the ten-year-old girl, who explores her fears and her courage. Her future and her untapped potential get explored in surprising ways and she becomes even more central to the plot than you would suspect.
Leenah, Skrizz, KRS-88, and Garret all get plenty of time to shine as well. We get some beautiful moments with all of them that effectively demonstrate the motivations for their actions, their tenacity under fire as well as some humorous asides that lighten up the dark plot going on here. One of my previous complaints, about Skrizz not getting enough character development, even gets addressed here and does so in a touching way I didn’t foresee.
As usual, continuity from previous novels is very important here. We’re given just enough information for us to connect characters and history from the other stories to jog our memory and then it takes the plot further and advances the characters more. As events from those novels are interwoven into this one, I continue to appreciate the care, forethought, and attention to detail the authors have been using as they write these stories. Some of those connections are truly surprising and thrilled me with the ingenious way they were used in the novel. There was one story used here that reaches back into the novel’s timeline to a very crucial battle and used that history so well, I was in absolute awe in how it was utilized here.
We even get to see the aftermath of the battle of Tarrago from the point of view of Goth Sullus, tying this novel together with the previous book in this series. Getting into his head is always dark, brooding and well done, as the mystery of his background and his powers continues to slowly unfurl and keep us begging for more.
This is another outstanding novel in the Galaxy’s Edge series with the best mix of action and character development to date and that is saying something! It provides a roller coaster space opera story, hard-hitting sci-fi combat, some great developments for each character that I loved and some really awesome hints at stories to come. I greatly look forward to the next novel in the series!
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