This is another book with Admiral Jeremy Strong and the other “Special Five” which have gotten themselves and a whole lot of other people stuck in a distant galaxy with no way back home. Admiral Strong commands the “Lost Fleet” as it’s called. Even though he is or was a very, very junior officer, Jeremy has some how managed to get himself promoted far above what rank he normally should hold. Why, I don’t know. He doesn’t seem to be any more special than the other four of the “Special Five” other than there is a mention in this book that the other four have refused promotions. Apparently, they have done so to appear “more normal” given that they were alive when the Federation made it’s first interstellar voyage/mission. They chose to go into cryogenic hibernation in order to fight in the Federation versus Hocklyn/AI war. And if you’re a reader of this series, you should be well aware of the “Special Five’s” exploits. I don’t buy the idea that they haven’t been all equally treated as far as rank is because they turned down promotions just to be normal. That’s not normal.
Anyway, we still have Clarissa and Ariel, the two very, very intelligent and sentient AIs that run the Federation Starships Distant Horizon and Avenger. They are both very conveniently around to et the humans out of trouble and save the day in almost every major battle. More and more, these to computer generated personalities are getting projected just about anywhere they want. I’m surprised they haven’t asked the AIs to provide permanent bodies so they can wander around independently. It seems that the race of AIs could easily do this since they themselves are AIs.
So, in this book, Jeremy and the Lost Fleet is still trying to survive being in a Simulin controlled galaxy. They have been able to establish a base on a planet called Gaia. They also have managed to place hyperspace disrupters throughout the nebula where their base planet resides. While they are building up their defenses and their offensive capabilities, they need friendly allies and a way to stop the Simulins from getting reinforcements.
The Distant Horizon is sent out to do what it was built for and that is to explore. Jeremy gives Rear Admiral Kathryn Barnes the mission to find allies to help fight the Simulins. If those cannot be found, then at least determine the extent of the Simulins control and destruction of this galaxy. In the mean time, Admiral Strong must find a way to destroy a Dyson Sphere. That object is a star system completely enclosed by a giant global construct of unknown material. So far, Admiral Strong has nothing capable of even making a dent in the Dyson Sphere and the Simulins can bring reinforcements from other galaxies as they need.
Once again, the writing is very, very good. Each of the characters are explored more and more. We have a two part story with some of it involving Admiral Race Tolsen. He’s been setup to seem like he has left the Federation Space Forces and is now retired. Actually, he is far from retirement. He’s been assigned to command a massive fleet of new ships that have been built by the Federation and the AIs in secret. These are the most advance and massive ships every built in our galaxy. He’s been ordered to find a suspected Dyson Sphere somewhere in the Milky Way and most likely in the Shari Empire territory. He cannot let this sphere fall into the hands of the Shari.
A good military science fiction book. I can see the series continuing and it’s getting better with every new book. Start at the beginning to get the full meaning of what’s going on. You won’t regret it.