Boy, talk about stringing a series out, Mr. Holmes could write fifteen or more books after this first fifteen with the story-line he’s created in this last book! While most of the previous books covered the beginnings of the Human Empire and specifically the lives and times of Emperor James and Christine Somerville, we now turn to the stories of their oldest off-spring, Captain Jonathan Somerville and Squadron Leader Georgia Somerville. Jonathan is commander of the destroyer *Achilles*, an Imperial ship of the line that has already seen some action. Georgia, on the other-hand is a starfighter pilot and she belongs to the flotilla that is currently hunting down the Flex-aor some where south of the Empire’s borders.
Jonathan believes he hand his crew are being sent away from the action dealing with the Flex-aor. He and his crew had already investigated some action of the Flex-aor and had given the Empire sufficient intelligence to place it on alert to another possible Flex-aor invasion. Yet, now he and his ship were being sent to a relatively quiet sector of space which hadn’t seen any action in quite sometime. Yes, they were there to make sure the Karacknids didn’t cross their borders and to continue an alliance with Nenee and the Conclave Territories, but Jonathan was disappointed. He was trying desperately to not let his crew know his feelings. But, since his true identity was now known and as he was the heir to the Empire thrown, he felt that the Admiralty was trying to protect him, which he didn’t want.
His younger sister, Georgia, was also known to be royalty, but she had chosen to be a starfighter pilot and she was turning out to be a stellar one. She was instrumental in finding the Flex-aor staging area where they were holding numerous freighters and warships. She got that information back to her Admiral and that cause the fleet to go into action. Georgia and her squadron were right in the middle of it all. She wasn’t at all sure how she would react in combat, but she soon found out. Her Admiral’s fleet that had charged into the Flex-aor staging area also charged into an ambush! Georgia was part of the frantic effort to get the fleet disentangled and make a hasty withdrawal. So, she figured her role in saving the Empire would be in destroying the Flex-aor.
Meanwhile, Jonathan and the *Achilles* had been on a six-month mission to find out if there were additional enemies or allies in deep space beyond what was known of the universe. He did actual stumble upon two different species, the Bar’samin were preparing for war with the Dudllias and they assumed the *Achilles* was there to attack their homeworld. He got a similar reception when he attempted to meet the Dudllias at their homeworld, although he had a little better success with them. Someone called the Zardxians had told both civilizations that the Human Empire was ruthless and had conquered many, many species. The warned that if the humans showed up in their systems, they would be there to conquer them. That explained why the hostile receptions at both systems. The did manage to get one of the species to reveal where Jonathan might find these Zardxians. Jonathan and the *Achilles* headed to the coordinates given and open a whole lot of trouble!
It didn’t appear that the Zardxians actually existed, but Jonathan found out that there was a huge gathering of numerous species that were preparing for war. The Eaglaton Protectorate had also heard the stories about the Human Empire and they were dead-set on allowing these humans to conquer their worlds. Jonathan didn’t get much chance to explain that they were all wrong about his Empire, he had to get his ship back to Empire space or be destroyed. In fact, the very stellar gate that Jonathan had come through to get to this part of space was about to be cut off by ships from the Eaglaton Protectorate. Jonathan couldn’t allow this to happen even if it cost him his crew and his ship. It almost did!
So, now we’re going to war with the children of James and Christine. Oh, they have at least two other children, maybe three, but they are much younger and could probably have a story in about the 40th or 50th books in the series! I don’t think so. Still, this book is just as exciting as all the others and I enjoyed reading it. I do think that there are combat liberties taken with these to main characters since there’s really nothing to prevent either from being killed during combat or just from a space accident. Yet, the manage to be extremely skilled and talented.
This story hasn’t ended since the humans having blunted the Eaglaton’s initial attacks are going to find out why they are hostile to begin with. That could be a very interesting story. I think that will be what’s contained in book 16, “[Shadow Strike](https://amzn.to/3Oie2eo)”, available on Amazon. Oh, my goodness, there is also a book 17, “[Debt of Deceit](https://amzn.to/3OoO8px)”, showing on Amazon. Good reading!