Gods and Legionnaires (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #2) ★★★★☆

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Title: Gods and Legionnaires
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #2
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 390
Words: 132.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

The Coalition is reeling. New Vega and its other worlds have fallen beneath the boot of the newly allied Savage marines, and the death count continues to rise at a staggering rate. One thing is clear: the war to come will be a fight for the very survival of the species. For both sides in this conflict, now is the time to become what fate, and victory, demand.

The Savages—post-human monsters who believe themselves to be gods—are intent on remaking civilization in their own violent and pathological image. Yet their alliance is tenuous. Among the many tribes of the Uplifted, as they call themselves, the struggle for supremacy rages on. All know that in the end there can be only one tribe. One leader. One truth.

Meanwhile humanity’s last, desperate hope is the formation of a new kind of fighting force: The Legion. Those select few who are hardy enough—or foolish enough—to undertake the relentless, grueling, and merciless candidate training will have the chance to be transformed into mythical heroes… or die trying. They will be pushed beyond their physical and mental limits as they seek to survive an unforgiving planet, lost and derelict ghost spaceships, and worst of all, the cold, unflinching brutality of Tyrus Rechs. At the end of this crucible, only the one percent of the one percent will earn the right to be called ….. Legionnaires.

My Thoughts:

In many ways, this was 2 books. The first part, Gods, followed one Savage Marine from after his time on New Vega to a new joint operation by another clan of Savages. What the rest of the Savages don’t know is that the Savage Marine (who I’ll call Johnny) has been tasked by his masters to introduce a virus into the Savage Alliance to subtley draw all the savages under control of one clan, Johnny’s clan.

Between fights we get Johnny’s history from when he fled from Earth during the scattering thousands of years ago, to what happened on the Savage Ship. We also realize how technologically advanced in some areas the Savages are and yet how internally focused they are which only heightens their arrogance, paranoia and sense of godhood. Then you come to realize just much they’ve messed with their minds and you can’t believe a thing they think about themselves. It was intriguing and disturbing all rolled into one.

The second part was about the formation of the Legion itself. Nobody but Tyrus realizes just how brutal the training must be and that only a total bastard can forge others into being the tough mothers the galaxy needs at the moment. Opposed by the very Alliance that is placing their hopes on him, by his best friend Caspar and even by the very soldiers he is trying to train, Tyrus doesn’t let any of that slow him down or stop him. He has a job that only he can do and he’ll finish it.

While I enjoy a good military training montage, something about this one just didn’t quite grab me. Part of it is that Tyrus isn’t much of a person any more. There are a squadron of Legionnaires who we get to know which was good but it wasnt “quite” enough either.

Overall, this was a really enjoyble story and gave a lot of backstory. This Galaxy’s Edge universe continues to keep me interested and to tell a good story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Exodus: Empires at War, Part I (Exodus: Empires at War #1) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Exodus: Empires at War, Part I
Series: Exodus: Empires at War #1
Author: Doug Dandridge
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 255
Words: 103.5K



Synopsis:

Thousands of years ago, humanity began exploring the galaxy. A nascent empire was born. They encountered the Cara’carn, an alien empire that held itself to be pinnacle of life. The Cara’carn began a systematic slaughter of every system, world and moon that humanity had cultivated. Finally, all that was left was Earth. With 7 Ark ships, each equipped with a prototype FTL drive, humanity had to hope that at least one of the seven would escape and allow them to start over in an area unknown to the Cara’carn.

One ship did succeed. And they succeeded so well that Humanity became the dominant force in that galaxy and became a true Empire. Cara’carn became the bogeyman for the majority of humanity but the Empire never forgot that they had been driven away by a superior force. As such, they did their best to prepare for the inevitable clash when the two Empires met again.

This book chronicles the first encounters between the two Empires.

My Thoughts:

This was decent space opera. Dandridge did almost lose me because of the massive amount of POV’s that he decided to use. I understood why he needed to use so many, as trying to get a good picture of an Empire that doesn’t have instantaneous communications necessitates that, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. And if he continues to use such a plurality in future books I can guarantee I won’t be continuing. But that’s neither here nor there.

I really wish I had more to say, but “decent” sums it adequately. Nothing really bad beyond the POV’s stood out to me and nothing really good stood out either. There is nothing wrong with being a “decent” story, it just makes it hard for the reviewer to say anything.

That being the case, I’m going to talk about the cover, because hey, why not? The layout reminded me VERY much of Mike Resnick’s Starship series. Not exactly the same but so similar that even though I had finished the Starship series back in ’13, these covers still reminded me of them. Starship was published from 2005-2009 and the Exodus: Empires at War series by Dandridge didn’t start up until ’12. So either they used the same cover artist (which is quite likely) or Dandridge pulled some skullduggery. While I always enjoy some good skullduggery, I’m going with using the same cover artist because nothing in Dandridge’s writing suggests an evil mastermind genius.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Savage Wars (Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #1) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Savage Wars
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Savage Wars #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF / Space Opera
Pages: 397
Words: 118K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

The greatest conflict the galaxy has ever known…

They were the Savages. Raiders from our distant past. Elites who left Earth to create tailor-made utopias aboard the massive lighthuggers that crawled through the darkness between the stars. But the people they left behind on a dying planet didn’t perish in the dystopian nightmare the Savages had themselves created: they thrived, discovering faster-than-light technology and using it to colonize the galaxy ahead of the Savages, forming fantastic new civilizations that surpassed the wildest dreams of Old Earth.

Until the Savages came in from the Darkness…

When a Savage hulk lands on glittering New Vega, one of the crown jewels of the post-Earth galaxy, a coalition of planetary governments amasses their forces to respond to the post-human Savage Marines who’ve come to sack and enslave. But what the coalition forces find is something far more sinister than the typical Savage hit-and-run: this time, the Savages have come to stay.

Witness the intense beginning of THE SAVAGE WARS, the epic conflict, built into the lore of GALAXY’S EDGE, that will encompass over a thousand years of brutal fighting. Only the greatest military force in the galaxy can bring this war to an end… and the galaxy will never again be the same.

Experience the beginning of the Legion. Experience the Savage Wars.

My Thoughts:

This new trilogy starts before the Legion existed and before the Savages were vanquished. This mainly takes place on one world that has been invaded by the Savages. To this point, the Savages have always operated alone and conducted hit and run raids, sucking an individual world dry of all resources, including people. This time is different. They’ve set down roots. They’ve allied with other Savage clans.To date, the only way to destroy a Savage Ship has been to nuke the world and burn it to its underbed. And only one man has had the courage to do so, Tyrus Rechs. Declared an enemy of humanity, Rechs has his fans and detractors amongst the various politcal factions out in the galaxy.

Embedded secretly amongst the military forces, Rechs has a plan to nuke the planet. He has help from Caspar, another Immortal who has worked his way up to become an Admiral amongst one of the Factions. He covers for Rechs and gives him the opportunity to use the nuke.

Tyrus saves a small group of soldiers who then pledge themselves to help him get the nuke to the grounded Savage ship. Along the way they realize the Savages have put the entire population into cold storage as a food source. Rechs can’t bring himself to nuke the planet knowing the population is still alive. He does get the idea to start a military force made up of the best of the best and answerable to no one but himself. Thus the seed of the Legion is planted.

This felt like a long book. It was good, with some serious ground pounder military action but it just felt long, if you know what I mean.

Overall, this was another great entry in the Galaxy’s Edge universe. It was also a great peek into the far history of Tyrus Rechs. 1500 years is a long time. There are 2 more Savage Wars books, so we’ll have to see if we take great big time jumps or if it really focuses on the creation of the Legion. Either way, I’m looking forward to them 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rebellion (Omega Force #11) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Rebellion
Series: Omega Force #11
Author: Joshua Dalzelle
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 232
Words: 80K



Synopsis:

Lucky is starting to integrate into his new body but not consistently enough for Burke and the Crew to trust him with important roles on high stakes missions. However, that is taken out of their hands when the ConFed reveals its plans to wipe out the remaining fleet of the Empire it conquored in the previous book.

It’s up to Omega Force to put a stop to things and to start a galaxy wide rebellion before the Machine becomes powerful enough to rule unchallenged.

My Thoughts:

This is definitely a junkfood series. It’s light, fluffy, doesn’t fill you up, tastes good and when you’re done you wonder what you ate. And if you eat too much, you get sick. This Omega Force series is a big bag of Cheetos Puffs and 2-3 books is just the right serving. I have a feeling that 2 books is really the recommended Dr Bookstooge serving, but I’ll be finding that out next month when I read the 3rd (new to me) book.

But on to this book. My only “real” gripe is Dalzelle’s continual pushing of his other current series, The Terran Scout Fleet. It’s in this same universe and I “think” the main character is Burke’s son (not sure though) and I even understand why Dalzelle is trying to do it, but it just grates on me. Kind of like that guy who coughs “just that way” that annoys you for no apparent reason.

Honestly, describing this series as Cheetos is the best description and I feel no need to elaborate more. But for your edification and continual seeking after Knowledge, I’ll include a valuable link only available to everyone who is reading this (so feel very special)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Omege Force Cheetos!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Madame Guillotine (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #3) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Madame Guillotine
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #3
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 339
Words: 104.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

Leave no man behind.

On Detron, a simmering protest boils over and turns deadly when militants hiding among the demonstrators deliberately shoot down a group of legionnaires, executing one survivor and taking two for ransom. The only Republic asset the captured leejes can rely on is a lone marine sniper who defies orders in a desperate attempt to save them.

But a troubled sea of hostile riots, looting, and murder is too much for anyone to navigate safely.

Except Tyrus Rechs. Following a trail that links the riots and deaths to a demagogue known in the underground as Madame Guillotine, the bounty hunter must fight his way above, beneath, and through the sweltering city to bring the prisoners back home…and make those responsible pay.

Join the adventure as Tyrus Rechs stops at nothing to take down a nefarious conspiracy before it has a chance to take root in the very Republic that wants him dead.

My Thoughts:

TYRANNASQUID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And imagine if Jabba the Hutt was a 9ft tall warrior crocodile? What if R2D2 was a psychotic little warbot that dreamt of shooting guns and blowing things up? Then combine Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker into one person and BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMM, you have the best Star Wars homage scene that has ever existed. I will be re-reading at least this book some time in the future simply for this part of the story, it was awesome!

Storywise, this felt like the weakest of the Tyrus Rechs series. It is evident that Rechs is reaching the point where he doesn’t care about the Republic anymore but his duty is still driving him. He’s not quite the man we meet in Season One of Galaxy’s Edge but he’s only one step away.

This was a very pointed political book in terms of just how corrupt the Republic has become. It’s not as fun as the previous books nor as “rah rah kick their ass” either. Good soldiers die because of bad political decisions and it is sad.

This is the latest in the Tyrus Rechs sub-series. It was released last year (2020) and I don’t know if there will be another one or not. Personally, this seems like a fitting place for this sub-series to end.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Legends Never Die (Omega Force #10) ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Legends Never Die
Series: Omega Force #10
Author: Joshua Dalzelle
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 209
Words: 69.5K



Synopsis:

Jason Burke and Crusher, the head and muscle of Omega Force, go on a wild binge of violence to mourn the passing of their robot friend Lucky from the previous book. This leaves the rest of the crew on their own. Thankfully, they begin operating Omega Force and find some leads about restoring Lucky to a new body. Burke and Crusher are brought on to help steal a new body for Lucky, where they encounter another group stealing some synthoid bodies.

At the same time, The Machine has taken control of the ConFed and taken over another supposedly autonomous empire. This is leaving the galaxy in a whirl with nobody really knowing what is happening.

Lucky gets reactivated in his new body but it’s not working out real well so Burke reaches out to a crimelord. The same crimelord helps Burke against the ConFed and they all realize it is the AI from the Superweapon that has taken over the ConFed.

They begin to plot rebellion.

My Thoughts:

It’s been about 3 years since I last read an Omega Force book (Revolution) and I really needed that break. With that being said, Dalzelle has written 3 more Omega Force books and I’ll be reading them and catching up on the series.

Not having Lucky around to be their Deus ex Machina was a good thing for the plot and for the crew. In fact, once he does get a body, he’s as much a liability as an asset and it gives everybody a chance to reavaluate just where they all stand. Dalzelle is not real strong on writing complex characters so you take what you can get for character growth.

Burke, the head of Omega Force, is as brash, arrogant and loudmouthed as ever. I remember being sick of him by the end of book 9 and this book exemplifies why. Small doses of just a couple of books and I’m ok with it (say, 3 books?) but any more and I’d be quitting again.

A non-challenging, non-deep action pseudo-military story is what you get here. While not wanting to subsist on a diet of that, I do like it occasionally as it adds a bit of something to contrast everything else to.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Chasing the Dragon (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #2) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Chasing the Dragon
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #2
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 243
Words: 75.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com & Me

They all want the Dragon dead.

The Dragon was trained from his youth to operate as a lethal killing machine. He has tangled with crime lords, dangerous insurgents, even Nether Ops… and none of these forces has been able to bring the elusive warrior to heel.

Enter the notorious bounty hunter Tyrus Rechs.

Rechs takes on the job as a favor to an old Savage Wars buddy. Only Rechs isn’t out to kill the Dragon—his mission is to save the kid’s life. Unless the Dragon kills Rechs first.

The Dragon is the last of an experiment from the Savage Wars, an experiment meant to duplicate Tyrus Rechs. With speed, endurance, healing and other capabilities, the Dragon is a one man army meant to train an army. As a Sinasian, he’s now using his skills to train the Sinasian worlds to break free from the Republic.

That war, justified or not, will cost billions of lives and Rechs can’t let it happen. In league with a Nether Ops agent who wants the Dragon to live out a life of peace, Rechs must find the Dragon, convince him to stop and then get him to safety. When the Nether Ops agent shows her true colors and double crosses Rechs, a Republic Destroyer is on hand to use a crustbuster on the world the Dragon is on. Rechs rescues the Dragon and delivers him to a couple of Dark Ops agents who want what the Nether Ops agent claimed to want.

The books ends with the Dragon dying of old age surrounded by his family and him holding on until Rechs shows up.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit, this book made me feel really bad for the man known as Tyrus Rechs. He carries such a weight on his shoulders and his memories of his past are simply fading away. He remembers Earth, now mythical in status. He knows he’s been around for thousands of years and knows there was a purpose he was meant to fulfill, but details escape him. The unstoppable killing machine he’s become seems to be the only way for him to keep going. That is just very pathos filled.

As an action story, this was great. Rechs is facing off against someone who appears to be just as powerful as him. He’s also going against Sinasians gangs, Sinasian ninjas, Sinasian special forces, Nether Ops, Legionnaires from the Republic as well as other bounty hunters.

It also excels at providing glimpses of backstory for the universe we’re currently reading about. I never felt infodumped on or that “So Bob, let me explain….” feeling that sometimes happens. It really felt organic and like it was directly from Tyrus.

Another fantastic entry in the Galaxy’s Edge universe. In terms of pure enjoyment, this is beating out even Asher’s Polity series. I don’t know how it will stand up to re-reads though. I guess I’ll find out in a decade or so 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thraxas of Turai (Thraxas #11) ★★✬☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Thraxas of Turai
Series: Thraxas #11
Author: Martin Scott
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 172
Words: 58.5K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Thraxas, perhaps the doughtiest warrior ever born within that city’s walls, (as he describes himself) is almost home. The army led by Lisutaris reaches Turai, ready to retake their city. Thraxas begins the book in some trouble, having been flung in the stockade following a disreputable brawl, but will soon be back in action, investigating a politically awkward murder while making ready for battle. At his side is Makri, whose mathematical skills are called upon for some complicated sorcerous calculations designed to bring down the walls. There are dragons in the sky, hostile forces ahead, and, worst of all as far as Thraxas is concerned, a general beer shortage. When this is all over, Thraxas intends to spend the rest of his days sitting comfortably in his favourite tavern. But first, he has a city to retake.

My Thoughts:

I just re-read my review for the 10th Thraxas book (Thraxas and the Oracle) and most of the same issues apply here. This book ends with Thraxas being the first soldier back into Turai and then just ends. Scott is obviously leaving himself openings for more books but really, who is going to read any more of this series? I won’t be.

Thraxas as drunken, bumbling Private Investigator just isn’t funny any more. Even though it has been 3 years since I read book 10, it felt like it was just yesterday and that I hadn’t had any break from the infantile behavior of Thraxas. He’s moved from grouchy and curmudgeonly yet still amusing to just plain old annoying. I won’t be reading any more Thraxas books.

At 175’ish pages, Scott could have written another 50 and wrapped the series up. At some point an author needs to accept that his creation has run its course and it’s time to finish the story. Do yourself a favor Martin Scott/Milar, end the series and stop embarrassing yourself.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Requiem for Medusa (Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #1) ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Requiem for Medusa
Series: Galaxy’s Edge: Tyrus Rechs #1
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 357
Words: 88K



Synopsis:

Medusa was a world class bounty hunter, with a disease, a disease that was slowly turning her into a machine. She was a doctor and used her bounties to search for a cure for herself and everyone else exiled by the disease. One job got her killed. The Bounty Hunters Guild isn’t going to let that happen to one of their operators without severe repercussions. So they hire Tyrus Rechs.

For Rechs, this isn’t just a job. He was a lover of Medusa and he doesn’t want just Justice, but Vengeance. Wanted by the House of Reason, with Nether Ops continually on his tail, with other Bounty Hunters also gunning for him and his own past haunting him, Tyrus Rechs, a man over 2000 years old, is on the edge.

Rechs tracks down the client who hired Medusa, only to find out other bounty hunters, hired by other clients, had a hand in things. The trail takes Rechs to a rich gambling space station where 2 Crime Lords run a Death Game where hundreds of competitors vie to be the one lone survivor who will live in the lap of luxury for one year. The rogue bounty hunter who killed Medusa has entered the games and Rechs finds out that the Crime Lords are the one’s who hired him. Said Crime Lords have also contacted Nether Ops so Rechs can’t wait around to get the rogue bounty hunter. Rechs enters the game, kills the bounty hunter, escapes by the skin of his teeth and immediately faces off against a Nether Ops kill team. During this fight he also kills the 2 Crime Lords and finds out that in insane robot bounty hunter is the one behind it all. The robot dies, the space station is totally wasted and Rechs goes to a hidden asteroid to sleep for months to recover and to give his trail time to cool down.

My Thoughts:

After how much I was enjoying the main Galaxy’s Edge series, I wasn’t sure how a prequel trilogy was going to work for me. Thankfully, this was everything I could have wanted. I’ll write about that in a second.

I am consistently giving these books 4 and 4.5 stars and raving about them and I had to think for a minute about what kept them from going into pure 5 star territory. I enjoy them enough, that is for sure. I think it is because these are pulpy enough that it is going to take a second read to see if the enjoyment stands the test of time. So it’s not so much a bad thing holding it back, as my own hesitation in giving out a coveted 5star. Anyway, just needed to cement that in my own mind.

As I wrote above, this had everything I wanted. A quest, the chosen one, a hero of superb ability, evil villains, justice, vengeance, lots and lots and lots of action. It all was blended together and folded into a great story. I will almost always take a Lone Hero story over a Group, as I just enjoy seeing the Individual and how one person can make a difference.

In regards to Rechs himself, since we know his fate in the main series, this was all about finding out the tidbits of his past. We know he encountered something that gave him longevity and from this story it seems to have been some sort of Savage ship? It is not explicitly spelled out nor is it the main thrust. Anspach and Cole (the authors) aren’t making the mistake that Star Wars made of making the Jedi be the center of attention nor are they filling the galaxy with Jedi barbers and Jedi mechanics and Jedi beauticians. The balance in these books just feels right.

This book has put to rest my niggling fear that GE was a fluke by the authors and that they couldn’t keep up that level of great story telling. This was a fantastic story and I loved it and I am looking forward to the next two just as much now.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Retribution (Galaxy’s Edge #9) ★★★★✬


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Retribution
Series: Galaxy’s Edge #9
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 327
Words: 111.5K



Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

It’s been several months since the Legion fell. Chuun spent the down time working with Admiral Deynolds to consolidate the Intrepid and other ships loyal to the Legion into their own task force, the Legion Expeditionary Fleet. Legion Commander “Wash” Washam has been feeding Chhun information on the new Empire’s weak points.

Kill Team Victory is hiding out in cargo crates aboard the De Zuan, an Imperial corvette, preparing to take the vessel over in mid-flight while the Indelible VI shadows it. They arrive on the bridge and stun the passenger a Republic senator, only to learn the corvette is rigged with explosives. Chhun uses this information to bluff the commander of a nearby Imperial supply station Kappa-II into surrendering. Despite the station’s surrender, it’s also carrying a wing of Imperial tri-fighters which attack the Indelible VI as she attempts to pick up Kill Team Victory. Keel handles the fighters but the ship is cut off by an arriving Black Fleet Destroyer which launches its own fighters. Cut off, Chhun is unable to jump the corvette to hyperspace. They transfer the kill team and the senator to the Indelible and fight their way free with help from the just arrived Intrepid. Despite the help, the Indelible VI loses her shields and takes heavy damage. Garrett arranges for the suicide corvette to be drawn into the destroyer’s hangar bay and detonates it, destroying the capital ship but wrecking the Indelible’s drives.

While the freighter is repaired aboard Intrepid, Keel tells Chhun that the senator they retrieved is a Sinasian. The Sinasians hate the Republic and launched their own rebellion against it before the MCR was formed. In addition, the senator is dying. Keel wonders if they can use that to their advantage. Once the Senator is fully briefed on the politics and plans of the various factions he agrees to help the Legion despite his illness. The next battlefield is to be Sinasia, and David Lawrence, the sector commander, is loyal to the Legion. Deynolds doubts it will be a full frontal engagement considering the loses both sides took over Utopion and Tarrago’s still-limited production output. They need Keel to head to Sinasia to act as a local force liaison and intelligence source.

After Senator Van Cammack declares the Sinsasian Cluster’s independence from the Imperial Republic on One Republic News, Goth Sullus meets with his high council to plan the system’s destruction. Washam describes the appointee system, telling how it devolved into a market place where the rich and powerful could buy luxurious civilian posts or risk-free military appointments from political patrons. The Imperial Republic has no allies in Sinasia and there is disagreement over how easily any insurrection there can be put down by Imperial forces. Sullus decrees that the Sinasians may go for now, but if they don’t rejoin by the time the Empire repairs itself, they will be destroyed. Delegate Orrin Karr suggests giving the Zhee free reign to colonize the Sinasian Cluster. The Empire can intervene on a political pretense, to defend them from the Zhee. Sullus agrees.

On Taijing, Keel and Leenah contact Legion Major Giles Endiffron, a legion point who manages the local garrison and is eager to buy his way off world to avoid unpleasantness. Together they pump Endiffron for information about the legionnaires under his command who are loyal to the Imperial Legion as well as those who are plainly disloyal. Endiffron promises Wraith a contract to transport the supposed traitors off world. Leaving the meeting, an off-worlder tail tries to ambush Leenah and is ambushed by Keel. Keel kills the man after realizing he has no useful information.

Back aboard the ship, Leenah expresses disgust with Keel’s tactics but acknowledges their necessity, while she goes off to improve on the repairs the Intrepid’s crew made to the ship. Ravi informs Keel tha their contract has arrived. Keel contacts Chhun and lets him know that they have the names of the Tianjing legion garrison who are loyal to the Empire as well as those who are loyal to the real legion. They also have a copy of the House of Reason-approved forms used by Imperial legion points to secure assistance from non-military operators (smugglers, bounty hunters, etc). Only assassinations are out of bounds, as Nether Ops still specializes in those missions. The contract is worth 5 million credits and Keel is heading out to fulfill the agreement that night.

On En Shakar, Prisma is feeling lonely and out of sorts. Her powers seem to be dormant and while she has found some purpose in caring for the patients in Skyla Forster’s infirmary, she longs to hear songs from her childhood. She has not forgiven Hutch, the Nether Ops legionnaire who worked with Andien Broxin, for abducting her aboard the Indelible VI, even as she cares for his comatose body.

Bear leads KT Victory down to the Tianjing legion garrison and infiltrates the base, thereafter securing the appointed officers in the base mess hall. While that is going on, Keel in his Wraith persona, neutralizes the gate guards at Tianjing legion HQ and introduces himself to Legion Commander David Lawrence, with an offer to help him secure the planet.

Back on Intrepid, Chhun is learning to manage the work load of a general even as he wishes he were still running with KT Victory. A constant inflow of active and retired legionnaires has been helping him and Deynlods to build a proper Legion Navy out of surviving units and ships. To that end he promotes Bear to lieutenant and asks him to fold KT Victory in with KT Warbird. Bear agrees and asks to reactivate Sticks to fill a remaining hole in Victory, to which Chhun agrees. A call from Legion Commander Washam informs Chhun that Nether Ops has been pulled into serving as a secret police force, and that the Zhee are preparing to invade the Sinasia Cluster as a prelude to an Imperial response. Chhun’s best option is to prepare a trap for the Zhee and then move to work with the government on Cononga to support its independence

On En Shakar, Prisma works with Mrs. Renfree, an elderly patient in Skyla Forster’s infirmary. She is a kind lady who Dr. Forster diagnoses with dementia and delirium, but she has some lucid moments. During one of these moments, she tells Prisma about a horrific event that happened to her aboard a Savage warship when she was about Prisma’s age. Prisma has an emotional reaction to the story and finds that her powers work better under duress. Even Hutch seems to have shifted in his sleep.

Mrs. Renfree dies soon after. During her funeral a cargo ship arrives with refugees from Qadib, which is being attacked by the Zhee. Prisma takes advantage of the lull to sneak aboard the ship and contact Leenah on a comm and asks Lenah to sing to her. The song makes Prisma feel less alone. The ship’s crew returns and Prisma overhears the captain offering a crew position to a stranger. The stranger turns out to be Skrizz who has decided to leave. Captain Pereira and Mother Ree are adamant that Prisma remain behind and she storms off the ship. She has a hurried conversation with a spectral figure to find that Skrizz has chosen to stay with her after all.

Cononga is in the grip of a civil war as it has always been loyal to the legion over the Republic; Goth Sullus has sent MCR forces to quell the dissent. Chhun and Deynolds however are invited into the situation by the planet’s governor and the Legion is busy landing on the planet. During KT Victory’s drop, Sticks hits the ground too hard and suffers damage to his bionic legs. They breach into the presidential palace and encounter a team of shock troopers with the same apparent mission of recovering the president. Victory fights past the opposition and gets to the president first. The first floor of the building is still occupied by shock troopers as Bear calls for exfiltration. Task Force Grinder arrives and engages the hostiles.

Aboard the Zhee battlecruiser Bloody Horde, Captain Vampa is advising Zhee crews in their efforts against Sinasian forces. They are approached by the Intrepid and warned off. As they hold their ground the Intrepid engages and destroyed a Zhee battlecruiser, Divine Zephyr. Vampa threatens the Zhee admiral and is then attacked by the crew. Her bodyguards spirit her away in a shuttle (piloted by Kat Haladis) while the Zhee engage the Intrepid. Admiral Deynolds tricks the Zhee into following her through a mine field which destroys the ships Mad Demon’s Kankari, Call of Death, Brass Djinn, Rage and Fury, and Supreme Vengeance. The Zhee fleet is destroyed.

In the city of Kahl on Rawl Kima, X meets with reporter Steadron Pawoe. His plan is to use the desperate and disgraced journalist as a propaganda tool in to restart what he sees as a “cold” galactic conflict. When Pawoe reports the destruction of the Zhee fleet by Sinasian forces, Goth Sullus meets with X who expects to be elevated to Sullus’s high council. Sullus puts X in charge of Imperial Intelligence. X’s first instruction is to send the Imperial Legion to Ankalor to destroy the remaining Zhee for their failure at Sinasia. When Kaar objects, Sullus unleashes the powers of the Crux, killing him and dissolves both the House of Reason and Senate.

Paren Michale is managing his salvage empire on Ochnia when Sullus’s announcement of the new order comes through the news. As he tries to process the news, the Cybar titans re-activate and head toward a ship which takes them off the planet.

Since meeting the spectral stranger in the gardens, Prisma has shown vastly improved confidence and drive as she matures into womanhood. Her powers return with a vengeance and her abilities improve almost daily. While helping out in the infirmary, Hutch wakes up from his coma and, seemingly under Cybar control, attacks Prisma. Skyla keeps Hutch busy while she escapes, but Hutch is too strong and Skyla is killed. Hutch fights his way through a crowd of sanctuary residents as she runs off.

Hutch pursues Prisma deep into the ice caves, where she hides, biding her time. When Hutch finds her, the spectral figure demands that she choose whether she will live or die. She chooses to live. As she makes her choice, she extends her powers, nearly stopping time and freezes Hutch in place. The figure shows her what Hutch would have done had the Forresaw completed its mission: killed her and the crew of the Indelible VI as the Cybar fleet destroyed Utopion. She chooses to kill Hutch and his body falls into icy water taking her with it.

Wash and Chhun examine their options in the aftermath of the Republic’s dissolution. Wash’s imperial legion is not up to the task of maintaining order, and wiping out the Zhee world of Nidreem with nukes is next on the Empire’s plan. Wash plans to take the weapon stocks on Ankalor and deliver them to Chhun after taking the planet back.

Having rescued Prisma, Crash shows her an ancient ship he’s discovered in the ice caverns. Though old, the ship is operational and Prisma and Crash take it to travel to the planet Morghul, in order for her to learn how to destroy Goth Sullus from her spectral friend. The trip will take five years with Prisma in stasis and Crash piloting the craft.

Keel and crew meet up with the Intrepid in the Ponterran system. When they learn of the dissolution of the Republic government and Sullus’s plans to use the Cybar titans to execute all House of Reason delegates, they realize that without a House to purge, there is no Article 19 to enforce. Keel for one has had enough of the legion and the politics, but Chhun has a favor to ask: pick up a MARO the Legion purchased on Ponterra. Keel agrees as long as Leenah can head back to En Shakar aboard a shuttle.

Keel heads to Ponterra for the pickup and Ravi suggests he visit Doc, a former Dark Ops contact. They arrive to find trench coated thugs trying to break into the old man’s apartment. Keel blasts the attackers and escorts Doc back to the now-loaded ship. Despite the police’s intercession, Keel bluffs his way skyward and they head off world to deliver the weapon as Chhun decides on using the legionnaire resistance forces on Utopion to attack Sullus directly.

Meanwhile, X has been busy rebuilding his own spy network using trustworthy Nether Ops agents from the Carnivale. His intention is to support Goth Sullus as a benevolent dictator. As he gets the word that the reporter Steadron was killed by Nether Ops Team 5 which was under X’s orders, he spots Washam emerging from a legion bar. Knowing the distaste legionnaires have for points he decides that Washam needs to be watched.

Goth Sullus inspects the last two thousand Cybar titans and expects they will not be enough to conquer the rest of the galaxy. The entities in the ring note the death of the Zhee homeworld Nidreen and show him other forces at work as they solidify their hold on him, and he on them.

Chhun and Victory team take a civilian transport to Utopion to contact the resistance leaders. Their contact runs a combat sled blockade and splits up the team to avoid capture. Exo is captured by Nether Ops and interrogated.

News that the core world Spilursa has declared independence from the Empire spreads, along with news of riots on Utopion.

Goth Sullus, desperate to retain hold on his fragmenting empire, orders Admiral Crodus to annihilate the nine words that have announced their independence. Deep down he (as Casper) realizes this will unite the galaxy against him but he is determined to see his task through to the end.

The Indelible VI’s crew arrives on a pastoral world to hide the MARO and Keel and Doc get to talking. Doc’s opinion is that Wraith needs to be on Utopion when the push to kill Goth Sullus comes down, to finish the job that Rechs isn’t there to do.

Exo insists (under duress) on talking to Ordo (confusing X a bit) and Nether Ops abducts Washam from his Utopion office.

Leenah arrives on En Shakar too late to meet Prisma, and everyone at the sanctuary believes her to be dead at Hutch’s hands. Skrizz isn’t so sure, and hearing that Crash was with her gives Leenah hope they might still locate the girl. Keel reports that he’s heading to Utopion to deal with Goth Sullus while Ravi reports that the spectral figure that Prisma has been speaking to is the same force that turned Goth Sullus into a monster. Leenah and Skrizz get back in their shuttle and head to Utopion.

On Utopion, Chuun, Victory Squad, and a host of veteran legionnaires are preparing to make their move. Wash, under duress from X, contacts Chhun and gives the call sign for an emergency. Chhun understands the situation and plays along as Wash orders a 24 hour delay in the strike. When the call ends, X kills Wash then orders a clean-up crew to go over his apartment and engage all the legion forces they’ve identified.

The Nether Ops teams go in…and report massive losses against their targets. X orders all hands on deck and realizes too late that he’s out of hands. Goth Sullus demands that Adm. Crodus bring the Black Fleet to Utopion; he refuses, saying the fleet is not Sullus’s personal property. Crodus has in fact ceded command of the fleet to Admiral Deynolds. Casper makes a last attempt to make himself felt and throw away the ring but Goth Sullus is more powerful and retains it. The ring-bound entities return the Crux’s power to Sullus, who reaches out and kills Crodus from half way across the galaxy.

Chhun’s legion moves through Utopion’s Capitol District, heading to the Imperial Palace. They are especially concerned about attacks from Cybar warbots and cyborgs, but remain on mission. The fact that Utopion never installed a properly staffed or equipped military presence helps immensely as does the spotty response from Black Fleet shock troops. Goth Sullus find himself alone in the palace, his officers and staff having abandoned him in the face of overwhelming defeat. Even his otherworldly allies now threaten to leave. He heads down to the motor pool for one last stand. The legion Lt. Col OIC at the pool defies Sullus and is killed; his troops respond by attacking their emperor. Sullus destroys squads until the resistance peters out. He deploys the Cybar machines and the remaining combat vehicles from the motor pool.

Chhun spots the Cybar and responds by sending out snipers armed with N-18 rifles equipped with depleted uranium rounds. Squads armed with N-50 automatic blasters hold their lines against the onslaught. Between the specialized rounds and rotation of battlefield tactics, the legion troops wear the Cybar down.

Indelible VI arrives (having left Doc to watch the bolt hole) to see Chhun’s legion fully engaged and Goth Sullus on the battlefield, but an MCR blockade (a destroyer and a number of small ships) bars access to the planet. Keel dumps the MARO onto the destroyer, blowing it up, then heads to the surface and Goth Sullus.

X finally realizes the situation has spiraled out of his control and heads to the palace’s remaining corvettes for escape, just as the Legion Expeditionary Fleet arrives, causing the few remaining MCR ships to surrender instantly. X contacts Chhun using Exo as a hook to form an alliance. Chhun and Exo play along until Exo is released…and then kills X with the butt of a Nether Ops rifle.

Goth Sullus rides a main battle tank into the fray, smashing legionnaires with his powers and shots from its main gun. But the Legion advances just the same. The ring-entities offer him a chance to save everything by destroying everything…and he takes it.

Above the battlefield, Ravi alerts Keel that The End of Everything is near and the time to act is now or never. The ring-entities are the very ones that Ravi’s people—The Ancients—fled the galaxy to avoid. Keel hands the ship over to Garret and the IndelibleIV’s cheerful AI and jumps out of the ship, diving right for Sullus.

Exo climbs out of the Nether Ops dungeon beneath the palace, takes an aero-precision missile launcher and knocks out the tank that Sullus is standing on, which interrupts Sullus’s attempt to kill Masters. But Sullus is able to kill Exo, snapping his spine on the spot. Sullus releases the spectral entities from the ring and they settle across the battlefield, animating the corpses to attack the remaining legionnaires. Sulllus retreats to the imperial palace. Wraith lands near Exo’s body and heads after Sullus.

Masters manages to carry Bear to Leenah’s legion shuttle; they begin to load up wounded.

Sullus retreats to the palace courtyard, and opens a portal to the realm of spectral entities. More come into the world through the new gate. As he gathers his efforts to let them all in, Casper asserts his personality and fights for control, shrinking the gate but not closing it. The distraction is enough to let Wraith approach Sullus from behind and shoot him.

The gate closes.

The Empire is done.

The war is over.

My Thoughts:

The only reason I have included such a humongous synopsis is because it is easier to cut and paste it in its entirety from the Fandom page than to try to write up my own. If all my creative energies go toward writing the synopsis, that just doesn’t seem fair to the My Thoughts section. Especially considering how deep, indepth, detailed and generally totally kick ass this section tends to be. Besides, if I don’t do a good enough job, Future Me is going to look back and sneer and call me a lazy git. So you all have to suffer a 6 page synopsis (that is what it came out to in the OpenOffice doc I use to copy/paste).

This was a good ending to what is called Season One. The Republic is irreparably broken, Goth Sullus is destroyed, bigger threats are hinted at and Prisma goes off with what appears to be a real bad guy. Most of the storylines are wrapped up with just enough left open to give you a hint of what is to come. I like that.

I really liked just how much of a puppet Sullus turns out to be. Instead of being a strong man standing for his convictions, he’s shown as someone who time and again has done what is expedient and betrayed anyone who thought differently from him. It’s good to see him get his just desserts.

Prisma, the little girl with special powers, is starting to worry me. Her behavior is very similar to Anakin’s in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. That hasty, impatient, not listening to anyone else, do what they want attitude. While Redemption stories are right up my alley, I’d rather see a character fight against and resist the Fall. I guess we’ll see if Season 2 is about Prisma or not.

Overall, I couldn’t have been happier with this series. Besides the little hiccup between the first book and second (where the style drastically changes from an almost straight up MilSF to Space Opera), I have not had a bad read. While the first book of Season 2 is out, I think I’m going to wait until the whole thing is out before diving back in. Thankfully, there are several other series I can check out while waiting. Anspach and Cole have farmed out various sub-series and I plan on reading those. I will have to see if they keep creative and quality control or if they just rubberstamp it with their name. Michael Anderle did the rubberstamp option and made me pretty much abandon anything by him. I hope Anspach and Cole do a better job.

For the records, I have the Savage Wars (3 books), Tyrus Rechs (3 books), the Order of the Centurion (5 books) and the Dark Operator (5 books) to get through. I suspect that will be more than enough to let Anspach and Cole bust out Season 2 of Galaxy’s Edge!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.