I frankly don’t know what this book is really about. Yeah, I read the whole thing, but it’s as confusing as hell. I believe were in the not too far future where a war between Earth and and Great Nest has been fought. The humans lost and the Sleer won, that I do know. The Sleer are highly intelligent lizards much larger than humans. Still, they have their enemies too called the Skreesh. The Skreesh had almost destroyed Great Nest, home planet of the Sleet except for the efforts of the humans who had recently joined the “Allied Sleer Fleet”. Even some of the human star-fighter pilots had been given Sleer implants that vastly improved their combat skills. But, now the Sleer and humans were trying to rebuild from their recent brush with the Skreesh. They both knew they would be back, but no one knew when.
So, is this book about building a powerful Allied star fleet to face the Skreesh? I don’t think so, but it could be. What you mostly get to read is that the humans have occupied a gigantic battle ring above Great Nest while the Sleer occupy a similar, but brand new Battle Ring above Earth. The Sleer control both and allow humans to mostly live on the Great Nest Battle Ring Zekerys. That battle ring has been in existence a long, long time and is not being well maintained. Yet, this is where the humans fleet exist for now.
Then we turn away from the military part of this story and start focusing on the commercial aspects of this human alien relationship. It seems that there are other races on both battle rings and they all via for commerce. Earth needs everything but doesn’t have much to offer since the Sleer are just taking the resources they want since they did defeat the Earth’s forces in the Sleer War. But, now Earth needs to stand up for themselves and hope to convince the Sleer that a viable Earth or even a human colony would be better than both civilizations being wiped out by the Skreesh.
Now we meet Valri Gibb who wants and intends to be a freighter captain with her won cargo ship doing business with whomever paid the best. She had gone so far as to arrange for the purchase of a Sleer freighter and thought she was on her way. That is until the master computer known as Zero stepped in. I don’t really know where this “master computer” thing came in, but it seems to be monitoring everything the Sleer, Movi or humans do on both battle rings. The Movi are another very intelligent race of beings much more similar to humans. They have their own fleets and have a lot of commerce through their Guilds. Back to Valri Gibb. For some unknown reason, Zero has determined that Valri would be better at being an Undersecretary of Commerce representing the EarthGov on Battle Ring Zekerys than as a freighter captain. And when Zero says you’ll do this versus this, you do what it tells you. There doesn’t seem much resistance to Zero’s decisions. Everyone accepts them as they are given.
Valri becomes the Undersecretary for Commerce. To her credit, a much younger version of Valri did create a computer program that managed various trade agreements between many different suppliers and buyers. Her program predicted the most profitable trades, prices and sources that led to the company she worked for making lots and lots of money. It got so profitable that the authorities had to step in and stop what they though was unfair practices. Valri had long since sold her computer program to the company and had left its employment to become a freighter captain.
But now she seems to be right back in the commerce business and everyone wants her computer program employed for them. EarthGov believes she should give it to them since she is a human after all and they put her in a position to make the most of that activity. Yet, the Sleer and Movi both have reasons to want the software and both are offering pretty substantial rewards if she sold it to them.
In the meantime, the Sleer have decided that the humans should probably vacate Earth since it’s going through another ice age and will probably become uninhabitable eventually. They have found a pretty undesirable planetary system which they don’t want so they give it to the humans. The only problem is the humans have no way of leaving Earth nor of colonizing a distant planet since they barely knew anything about space travel when the Sleer showed up.
Anyway, all this is very confusing and I could never get my head around everything that was going on. Oh, there is some fighting and stuff, but that is also kind of confusing since the starfighters the humans do use seem to be something like transformers. Also, there are manned starfighters, drones and mechs mixed in and I couldn’t tell which was which.
Needless to say, I’m probably not going to follow this story any further. I might, but I doubt it. As for those who do find this first book interesting, book 2, “Dissonance” is available on Amazon right now.