If you’ve been following this series from the beginning, you probably knew that this story would eventually show up. Having left Earth many, many years ago, there are still New Earth colonist that remember what Earth was like and longed to return. Some were very wary of returning, not knowing if the Earth they knew was gone for ever. The Vemus has originated in the Solar System due to Earth scientist tampering with genetic materials they shouldn’t have been messing with. Probes have been sent to Earth to find out what conditions are back there, but that journey was going to be very long since Earth was some 200-lightyears from New Earth.
Suddenly, those probes started popping up in the New Earth system! They shouldn’t have been there, but her they were and they did indicate that the Vemus virus was still in the Solar System. Still, they knew that Earth was in the process of attempting to contain the Vemus and since New Earth hadn’t been attacked by any more strains of the virus, it was now time to go back to Earth and find out what was left.
It goes without saying that his will be a very dangerous expedition. General Connor Gates is about to hang it up. He’s had a long, long military career and doesn’t see himself doing this job forever. He and Lenora, his wife, have raised two adult children who now have careers of their own. The oldest, Lauren, is a successful doctor while Ethan is a highly skilled, although inexperienced, CDF Talon V space fighter pilot. Both have volunteered for the Earth expedition and Connor is besides himself if he thinks they are going to go! Then Lenora says that she’s going as a diplomat if nothing else. So, as the expedition needs a leader, General Connor Gates isn’t going to let his family leave him behind!
With the invention of the I-Drive tested and proven very capable in the last book, the trip to Earth that would have taken years now shrinks down months, four to be exact! So, the expedition is off and ultimately arrives in the Solar System. They find a lot of decrepit and broken space facilities orbiting most of the planets although they don’t venture any further than Jupiter. Here they do finally get a comm replay from a space station called Magnus Station. This space station is enormous; a collection of various ships and other space stations that hey could cobble together to form some kind of habitat where over thirty-thousand humans lived. These humans were what was left of the human population once the Vemus infection was contained and the Vemus infected humans were isolated on remote outposts without power. This kept the Vemus dormant and it was going to stay that way.
So, the contact with living humans was a great relief to the New Earth colonist. Now they just had to find out what the status of Earth, itself was, and if there was any possibility in humans re-occupying the planet. They soon found out that things had definitely changed in the Solar System. Most of it was for the worst. They didn’t have the resources to keep their advanced technology going and a lot of the Magus Station was barely with power. They had to scavenge other space platforms to find resources for hydroponics labs and mine astroids for ice and water. Medical conditions were pretty bad. People were dying at a very young age or suffering from all sorts of treatable diseases because they couldn’t make medicines that were previously available on Earth.
So, the New Earth explorers had some work cutout for themselves. Yet, Magnus Station, while seemingly open to their help was hiding something. They were governed by a former member of the Asian Alliance and he governed with a very strict hand. While everything appeared OK on the station, it was not quite right and Connor Gates was going to find out what was going on.
Meanwhile, his two children are doing exactly the opposite of what they were told. Space fighter pilot Ethan is out flying missions and taking risks that he shouldn’t take, but he’s like his father who did a lot of risky things in his lifetime. One such risk results in his reported death. That hits Connor hard and he has to give up command of the expedition. And then his daughter, Lauren, gets talked into going on a little exploration trip by another doctor who’s interested in her. The take a shuttle and instead of taking six security guards as directed, they only take two. They also don’t file a flight plan, so off they go without anyone knowing where they have gone. You can guess what happens next. This was so aggravating in that Connor’s daughter should have been smart enough not to do this, yet she does some very dumb things.
So, do they get to land on Earth or is that even possible. Will the New Earth expedition become infected with the Vemus and bring it back to New Earth? Is Ethan Gates dead? Did he take one risk too much? And has Lauren caused a resurgence of the Vemus by blundering where she shouldn’t? You’ll need to read the entire book to find out!
And, according to the author, this isn’t the end of the series. There will be a book 15, but it’s not titled and doesn’t show on Amazon. I’m still going to add it to my reading list once it’s announced.