This is the second book in this series that I’ve read very recently. It seems I was just catching up to the series with book 11, “Invasion”, seeming to be the last book in the series, but here we are with another book. I definitely think this is the final book in this series. That’s OK with me because, honestly, I think the story had gone on long enough. Now we’re reading about the children that were just born or about to be born when the series started. I think that’s far enough down the development of the First Colony.
It seems as if the author had to come up with something different on the planet New Earth to have give this a story-line. General Connor Gates and his wife, Lenora, are both explorers with her being an archeologist seeming to always want to hunt down the past of the Ovarrow and New Earth. Since the Krake were defeated in the last book, General Gates doesn’t have much to do since the CDF can function quite well without him during peacetime at least. So, his wife wants to go exploring some distant potential sites in hopes of finding out more about how the Ovarrow came to New Earth and find more technology left by the Krake. Yes, the Krake were once on New Earth in control of the Ovarrow. Why they left is not know, but it is known that a lot of their advanced tech was left behind. So, Connor and Lenora put together this huge expedition and start dragging their friends along.
Noah Baker and his wife Kara are in a (orbiting?) research station called Terra. Noah has been heavily involved in trying to find a solution to FTL travel. He’s not gotten that problem solved even though he’s been working on it for a long time. Kara suggests they need a brake and wants to go back to New Earth for a spell. Reluctantly, Noah agrees so they are off to New Earth to visit with friends. One of their best and longest friends are the Gates.
Then there is Isaac Diaz, son of Juan Diaz. Isaac is a young man with an undefined future. He’s currently working in the Biological Research lab at the Colonial Research Institute’s West Campus. It doesn’t appear that he’s all that interested in the job because he’s always coming in late. The scientist he works for as an intern, isn’t please with his lack of timeliness and is about ready let him go. Still, another scientist steps in and offers to give Isaac another chance which he readily accepts since he finds out another intern, a very attractive intern named Ella Kingston, also works for Dr. Rostova. These scientist are working on a program that will improve and enhance the fertility rate in the female Ovarrow so they can stop and reverse their declining population rate. The apparent drop in fertility in female Ovarrow had something to do with the hibernation methods the Ovarrow had used to hide from the Krake. This one group of Ovarrow, the Mekaal were especially hard hit since there were only about fifty-thousand of them now and that number was slowing decreasing. The Mekaal were allies of the Colonist although that relationship wasn’t supported by all Mekaal.
So, this group of scientist along with their chosen interns were going to the capital city of the Mekaal to attempt to further their study of this fertility problem and begin developing some kind of serum to improve the birth rate in the Ovarrow. While this research was supposed to be done in secret, apparently factions within the Mekaal who didn’t like humans had already told the Konus about this research. The Konus was a very hostile sect of Ovarrow that lived a pretty fair distance away from any human settlement. They believed that the humans were invaders of their planet and wanted most of them gone. These Konus Ovarrow were always causing trouble.
Back to the Connor and Lenora Gates expedition…when Noah and Kara visited, they invited them to go on the expedition. Since it sounded interesting to both and something very different than what they had been doing, they agreed to go. Then Juan Diaz had a really bad argument with his son, Isaac, about him going to work with the scientist in the Ovarrow capital city. Juan Diaz did not like the Ovarrow. He didn’t trust them and wanted nothing to do with them if at all possible. He certainly didn’t want his son working right in the middle of fifty-thousand of them. Yet, his son was of an age to make decisions on his own so he was going. Juan’s wife, Victoria, knew her husband with angry with this situation so she persuaded Connor to invite Juan to the expedition so he could get away from everything for awhile. Connor managed to do the get Juan to go with him, but it wasn’t easy.
Now the expedition is off and everything seems to be going well until they meet up with a group of the Konus! Instead of immediately fighting each other, Connor gets the leader of the Konus scout team to start sharing some information. They soon discover information about a group of Ovarrow called the Bhatdin. This information leads them to the far, far north of New Earth where neither human or Ovarrow have ever gone. They all wonder what they might find there.
At the same time, the scientist at the Mekaal capital city are enroute to present their findings to the High Commissioner. Only the convoy gets attacked and it appears the Konus are involved along with a few Mekaal. Isaac Diaz is among the group kidnapped. It won’t be good for the Ovarrow when Juan Diaz finds out. His son better not be harmed!
So, while we have no major enemy, the author has chosen to come up with the Konus again as the antagonist. He’s done this before when the Konus army attacked the Mekaal in their capital city and were only pushed back because of the CDF’s intervention. What will happen this time? Either way and according to the author, this appears to be the end of the First Colony series. It was a very good run.