This was a pretty long book. Still, It did cover a lot of territory. We’re back with Captain James Somerville of HMS Endeavour. Having just survived a grueling Courts Martial and being found not guilty of all charges, James was very glad to be back in command of his ship. Now he has new orders to join the fleet commanded by Rear Admiral Rooke. This flotilla’s mission is somewhat different than expected. While war has been declared with the Star Nation of India, this will be the first initial hostile contact of that officially declared war. Captain Somerville is eagerly, well, not eagerly, but anxious to join with fleet and get back to work.
Unfortunately, the Court Martial he just survived was more of a political show than anything else. In order to prove that Captain Somerville was being tried only due to some advantageous political opportunities, the Courts Martial Judge, Admiral Blackwood, was shown to be very biased against Somerville from the beginning. Now, James finds out that his new boss, Rear Admiral Rooke, was a very close friend of Admiral Blackwood. Rear Admiral Rooke shows his distain for Somerville by placing him in the Command ship squadron which means the Endeavour will not likely see a lot of action. Is is also definitely not the best use of this kind of ship. Still, James has to follow orders, for now.
This first mission is an attempt to weaken the Indian’s ability to sustain a long war. Rear Admiral Rooke’s fleet is to go deep into Indian space and wreck havoc with their industrial capability. He’s to do as much damage as he can while avoiding any major battles and certainly any significant defeats. Things don’t turn out the way they should have. Captain Somerville does his duty, but when he was given a chance to comment on the Rear Admirals tactics, he spoke up and was immediately relieved of command! The war isn’t starting out for Somerville or the Endeavour as well as he would have liked. Now only if they can keep their Rear Admiral from getting them killed will he have a chance to regain his commend.
So, we go through this excursion through Indian space with this mission coming to an end. Then instead of the book ending, we’re off on another mission going back to Haven. If you remember, this is the planet that Captain Somerville and the Endeavour had already saved once and now they head back to take the planet from the Indians. We also get to read about a lot of the Resistance and Major Johnston, a British Special Forces Marine. This part of the story is very good, as well as the rest of the book.
I like this series and hope it continues. There are hints of other things coming so I know that the story isn’t quite finished yet. I’m looking forward to the next book.