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Series: Expansion Wars #3
Author: Joshua Dalzelle
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
The mystery Spectre ship has been hitting secret Federation outposts that not even most of the Federation knows exists. When the Tsuyo Corp puts pressure on the Fed Congress to not respond, Admiral Wright and her superior Pitt, are both very suspicious. Jackson Wolfe is let off his leash and given direct orders to find and destroy the Spectre.
He saves the sentient AI computer and it comes up with the idea that the Warlord controlling the Spectre is trying to gain control of all the former Phage ships lying around. This would allow the Warlord to pretty much rule Darshik and Human space uncontested.
Wolfe ends up having to sacrifice the AI to take out the Warlord and his Spectre. Now that the Darshik threat is taken care of, the Feds can begin to concentrate on the Eastern Star Union.
This was just like all the previous Expansion Wars books. Thankfully, Dalzelle sidelines Celesta Wright and as a very small side character she is great. Dalzelle just can’t write more than one character at a time and Jackson Wolfe takes his attention. It’s an obvious weakness of Dalzelle’s and considering it is manifested in his Omega Force series as well, it’s just something I as a reader will have to put up with.
The story was kind of blasé to be honest. It felt like this whole “trilogy” really should have been one longer book. While the trilogy storyline was pretty good, the particulars of each book fell kind of flat. The Darshiks and the Uushins just weren’t very threatening and while the Warlord and the Spectre made a great villain, he wasn’t giving much time as a “character”. I think there would have been a lot more tension if the “mystery” of the Uushin and the Darshik had never been and the Warlord had taken centerstage. I mean, a brainship? That is just cool.
I know I complained a lot. I still enjoyed this, but it was more of an “it’s ok” enjoyment than a “Awesome, what a great book” enjoyment.
I do know that with the next Black Fleet related trilogy that Dalzelle writes, I’ll be passing on reading each book as they come out. I’ll just wait until the Reunification Wars trilogy is done and read them all in a row. I’m hoping that reading them closer in a row will allow for a better experience, kind of like what I had with the original Black Fleet