Once again, we’re with Captain William Sparhawk, of House Sparhawk, and his stuffy, straight-laced way of speaking and acting. You’d think this book was written back during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but it’s definitely not. We’re far, far in Earth’s future after the Cataclysm. Earth is now aware of other civilizations out in space and many of them were former colonies of Earth. Captain Sparhawk of the Star Guard was a part of a dying military establishment that had nothing of importance to do until he found a derelict battle cruiser, the Defiant, drifting outside the asteroid belt. He commandeered the vessel and eventually recommissioned it as a Guards vessel. He was left in command and then sent to find out where this huge ship had come from.
Earth had once been a spacefaring planet, but then the oldsters decided they had enough of that and shut down the bridges to hyperspace which connected various star systems. Only recently had they sent Sparhawk and the Defiant to explore these other regions mainly for two purposes. One was to find out what was out there, what had happen to the colony ships long ago sent through these bridges and then abruptly cut-off, and secondly to maybe get rid of Captain Sparhawk who seemed a little to rebellious to the oldsters.
Earth was now apparently ran, behind the scenes, by a bunch of very, very, very old people who had once been in power in the government and chose not to give up that power. They secretly built and underground bunker and have stayed there for many decades slowly controlling everything and everyone on Earth. How they do this is something you’ll soon find out. You will find also find out that they have conceived of a plan to ensure Earth’s lost colonies don’t come back to harm Earth after being abandoned. Sparhawk might have a hand in this effort.
I get a kick out of the arrogant writing. It’s as if Sparhawk is a Prince of some kingdom and he manages his ship that way. He’s tries to be “easy going”, but the writing just doesn’t let him get that way. I don’t know how to pin-point it, but you get the feeling that his crew should be answering his commands with, “Yes, your Majesty!”, instead of “Yes, Sir!”.
Still, the writing is good and the stories follows from one to the next. We get a lot of character crossover so you’ll be instantly familiar with the characters in this book. I’m not sure if this series continues. While I think the author would like to see it go forward, he kind of ended everything on a very high note so it would be interesting to see Captain William Sparhawk and the Defiant in another book.