Well, things are pretty bad for the fledging Human Empire. Empress Christine has been trying to get the political side of their new empire setup, but she’s finding some key resistance from New Delhi and its Indian colonies. It seems a dictator name Sai Culthrapori has taken control and is attempting to rule with an iron fist. He is dead-set against any of the Indian colonies joining the Empire. Rumor has it that Culthrapori is even killing his own people to put down the demonstrations and protest that have arisen due to his stand against joining the Empire.
So, Empress Christine has convinced Admiral James Somerville to go to New Delhi and find out what’s going on and see if he can persuade Culthrapori to change his mind. That’s going to be a tough assignment especially since James doesn’t feel he has any qualifications as a politician. He’s taking a small fleet with him and a large contingent of Marines since he’s also heard rumors that Culthrapori has killed Imperial citizens during his quelling of the riots. That cannot be allowed to happen.
In the meantime, the Home Fleet is struggling to return to the Solar System. They successfully disrupted one Karacknid staging base and were on their way back when they came upon another one. Now they have knowledge that there are three such staging bases very near the Solar System. If the Karacknids can establish support bases this close to the Empire, then the Empire is doomed. The Karacknids can field thousands of ships from these three bases and easily overwhelm Earths forces. Admiral Lightfoot attempts to attack this new Karacknid supply base, but gets tricked terribly and looses a number of ships. He also gets injured and is going back to Earth in a coma. The Empire desperately needs his ships returned with the information he has learned.
Once Admiral Summerville has returned from New Delhi, he’s confronted with the information from the Home Fleet. He has decided that their only recourse is to go on the offensive and attack all three Karacknid supply bases before they are reinforced with huge fleets of ships. His existing scouting reports indicates that the human fleets will only be outnumber about four to one during these attacks and that number is much greater for the largest of the three supply bases, but they cannot afford to let the Karacknids build up their forces without opposition this close to the Solar System. He convinces the other Admirals and Empress Christine that they much conduct three offensive operations against these three massive Karacknid bases and they must be done at about the same time. It is imperative that all three attacks must be successful. He tells Empress Christine, he soon to be bride, that he’s going to either succeed in the attack he carries out or he’s not coming back alive!
There is a lot happening in this book. I touched upon just some of the actions while not talking much about what’s happening with Captain Kansas, Admiral Somervilles niece that he sent to the far reaches of the galaxy to find additional allies. She’s trying to track down an elusive alien species that has successfully avoided the Karacknids for thousands of years. It would be absolutely wonderful if she could convince them to join with the Empire in their fight against the Karacknids.
The story certainly isn’t over with this book. The Empire is about to become an actual entity with all of humanity joined together to fight a common enemy. This was a vision shared by just a few at the beginning of this story, but now it is coming to reality and it’s an exciting time to be a human in the new Human Empire. Book 11, “Counterstrike” is already on my reading list. I suggest it be on yours too!