I don’t know why, but this particular book didn’t hold my attention as well as the previous books in the series. Then again, I’m not sure any of these books actually held my interest. I say that because it seems the author had an original idea for the book, i.e., a group of astronauts are sent out to explore an alien construct on Pluto and then he decided to expand the story to something entirely different. Now that might have been a good thing, but I’m not so sure.
Still, we’re back with the human crew of the Athena, a vastly different starship that came from Earth. It has been remade by the Drar in the previous book and is actually much, much more than what was anticipated. The on-board AI is almost sentient if not so, and is now considered an extremely valuable asset for any civilization/species that would control her, if that could even be done. Zack Quick, our resident computer nerd and genius, has grown very fond of Athena. He works much closer to her than any of the other crew and has grown very protective of the ship.
Meanwhile, the Boxans are trying to put together an Alliance of other aliens to fight against the Xiiginn. The Xiiginn can mentally control other species making them do their bidding against the aliens will. They have put together a vast armada of ships in preparation to destroying the Star Shroud around the Sol System with firepower since nothing else seems to work. That armada is vastly larger than anything the Alliance can put together, but they have to try since the Xiiginns intend to eventually conquer Earth after knocking down the Star Shroud.
To ensure some kind of peace within the Alliance, Kaylan, as mission commander, has decided that she must give the Drar technology to all the species that join the Alliance or they would be fighting among themselves trying to take the Athena away from the humans and the Boxans. This decision doesn’t sit well with Zack and he’s going to do something about it.
I will tell you that this does appear to be the end of this series. Whether you like the end is up to you. Again, for some reason, I didn’t exactly find this series that exciting. It may have been that things were just too predictable or something else. Still, I did finish all six books and suggest you do the same. Good reading.