The fourth book in the sci-fi space-opera mystery series, The Phoenix War focuses on political upheaval on Capital World, Captain Nimoux’s ingenious struggle to escape from imprisonment to warn the Empire of the replicants, and fear of a Rotham invasion.
At 40% through things really get going, with Calvin Cross ordered by Queen Kalila to investigate the DMZ (de-militarised zone) to discover any troublesome evidence that the Rotham Republic intends to start a war against humanity. Queen Kalila must know whether to split her forces to confront the Rotham or to deal with what could be imminent civil war. Meanwhile Officer Summers is commanding the Nighthawk ship on the search for Isotome weapons.
The Phoenix War displays captivating and increasingly distinctive characters in a plot that continues to grow more engrossing. The writing style is snappy, but cuts to the real issues at hand, and showers the text with impacting dialogue. There was a shocking moment that had my mouth agape, since it was so horrible and “real”. And the author does reward the reader in the last 10% with some space action.
Criticism: It took me a while to really get into The Phoenix War (40%) because there was a lot of political build-up and that a lot of the themes I’d read were frequently repeated in the characters’ thoughts. This acted as a helpful reminder of what had already occurred in the series, some of which I had forgotten, and I was totally engaged in the subject matter. Yet, it extended too many scenes and delayed the real action, which could perhaps shine a new light of perspective on new events, rather than ruminating on the old.
Overall, I suggest any reader who likes mystery, sci-fi, or space-opera to start reading this series immediately because so many of Richard L Sander’s works are enthralling, eye-stinging reads.
(reviewed 84 days after purchase)