Returning to this fictional biography was like a reunion with old friends. For the first two-thirds of the book, a rehabilitated Captain Nikalishin prepares to take on his new role as commander of the first ship to visit the stars. He ties up loose ends, moves to a new home, and undertakes a round the world journey to discover which of his old comrades would like to join him in the renewed enterprise. This trip presents opportunities for fleshing out the history of different parts of the world in the centuries preceding the 28th, a dark and violent time in which humanity almost destroyed itself. Already fascinated by the renewed human civilization and its values, I found these background details interesting. The richness of the fictional world in which this story plays out is one of the strengths of this series of novels.
As those in charge of the Phenix Project build a crew for the enterprise and begin intensive training, a worrying issue emerges that casts a shadow I'm sure will play out as Robbie's life story continues. The book ends with a jolt that absolutely demands resolution. I hope Part Six appears soon!
Note: anyone who hasn't read Parts One through Four really ought to do that first. The life story of this 28th century hero is absorbing and entertaining, and should be read in chronological order.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)