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“The Grand Alliance”


5 Small Stars
The Grand Alliance
Interesting that the book cover I have says it’s book 12, but in reality it’s actually book 11.  Wonder why they didn’t catch that during editing.  Well, it’s not the only bad edit in this book.  While they are not serious, there’s a lot of missing small words and things you don’t usually notice in a Jay Allan book.  Just thought I’d point that out since the cover is so obvious.
I cannot believe we have come so far with Admiral Tyler Barron.  Eleven books and he’s still fighting the good fight.  As you’ll recall, the “Grand Alliance” has just survived a significant assault on the Craydon system.  They are desperately trying to produce more ships and weapons in the eventual counterattack by the Hegemony.  This is kind of wearing on the Grand Alliance troops.  They know they are going to be in another fight to the death and most of them just want to get it over and done with.
Admiral Nguyen lays almost dead in a hospital on Craydon with little hope that he will ever recover.  The doctors have already said that even if he lives, he’ll never have the facilities to command the fleet.  So, now it’s on the shoulders of Admiral Tyler Barron.  This is not a job he wanted nor does he feel qualified for, but his time has come and just like his Grandfather, Barron’s always rise  to the challenge.
Tyler also has a plan.  He is of the strong opinion that the Grand Alliance, such as it is, must go on the offensive and attack the Hegemony at Megara!   He believes that the Hegemony has grown somewhat complacent in their return to Megara after their first unsuccessful attack agains these RIM warriors.  They have called for reinforcements and they know they’re on the way so they feel there’s no need to re-attack Craydon until they are good and ready.  The Hegemony Commander says he needs a good six months of recovery and then he’ll be ready to finish this war that should have ended a long time ago.
But, Admiral Barron isn’t going to wait six months.  He’s ready to throw everything he has against the Hegemony at Megara and take back that system or die.  He’s told all of his troops what the situation is and they know they are in for the fight of their lives.  If the Hegemony defeats the Grand Alliance in this battle, then humanity will become slaves of the Hegemony subject to their genetic ranking.  That’s not going to happen if Tyler Barron can help it.
Prior to the battle, Tyler needs to get word to any remaining Marines on Megara and have them attempt to take down some command and control centers on Megara so the Hegemony will have difficulty coordinating their defenses.  The only problem with this plan is that it will required a very fast stealth ship to sneak in, broadcast a message and then attempt to get out.  The odds of a successful mission are not very good.  And worse, the best ship available for this mission is the Hermes captained by Andi LaFarge.  That’s the one person that Tyler can’t send, but she won’t take “No” for an answer.  She knows this is a mission for her ship and crew and knows Tyler doesn’t want her to go, but go she does.  I don’t know if Tyler Barron can survive the loss of Andi LaFarge, if she doesn’t make it back.
So, is the “final” battle in the series.  Maybe, maybe not!  The action is intense to put it mildly and you won’t want to put down this book very often.  There’s a good account of what happens on both sides with the Hegemony getting caught with something they can’t conceivably afford to lose.  And just so you know, this isn’t the end of the series.

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