This story has gotten better through each book. While Admiral Jon Pike isn’t as bad an idiot as he was in the first book, he now has a lot of people around him that are providing the right “guidance” in the form of advice and to his credit, Pike mostly listens. Of course, he and his UHSF wouldn’t be anywhere near as good and as large as it is if it weren’t for the A.I.
Jon is now attempting to go get help since the Erinyie, The Dark Ones, have shown up. Following his “vision” provided by the Diakan Seer, he is seeking the Builders, an ancient race probably not still in this galaxy or maybe even dead and long gone. Yet, it’s his only hope in combating the Erinyie. They have sided with the Juttari and are now forcing their way back through previously conquered space. Neither UHSF or Diakan starship can make a dent in an Erinyie vessel. What was a distinct advantage, the jump bombs, can neither penetrate the Erinyie shields and are ineffective against those shields. Yet the Erinyie can target any USHF or Diakan ship and blow it to pieces. The smartest tactic against the Erinyie is to retreat out of their range, which is slowly being learned by Jon Pike’s Admirals.
Probably a very strategic error on the part of the UHSF is their attempt to pacify Kem, home planet of the Kemmar. This warrior race, while conquered by Jon Pike and now restricted to this one planet, will never totally submit to a new ruler. It would have been best to just encircle the planet with monitors and weapons warning the Kemmar that any attempt to exit their planet would result in immediate destruction. Let them live on their homeworld and do as they wish as long as they do not leave and try to again establish a slaver empire. While that kind of idea has been though out, it is now too late. The Erinyie have just shown up. So it appears that all the recent hard-fought gains made by Jon Pike’s forces are slowly being eroded.
In the meantime, Pike and his small flotilla have started their many hundreds and thousands of light-year trek. No one from the Solar System has ever ventured out this far and they do not even know if the stargate system will extend the length of their trip. If it did, then their journey would be considerably less, but if it does not then they have a very long journey, indeed. Who knows what advanced civilizations they may encounter along the way. Will the Builders still exist after all these years and will the Builders even recognize a fairly young race such as the humans and Diakans? All of this does get answered, but the series certainly doesn’t end with this book.
Things are just getting started!