War erupts in the depths of space. Battle-ready fleets converge above the colony of Darien, seeking access to the powerful weapons at the planet's heart. For the despotic Hegemony, Darien's hidden technology would allow it to consolidate its power and utterly dominate known space. Darien's besieged inhabitants will fight for their future, but time is running out.
unknown to both sides, events are being manipulated by malignant AI minds, who have their own agenda. And they are near to unleashing their cohorts - a cyborg army of twisted machine intelligences imprisoned beneath Darien in the deepest layers of hyperspace.
Darien is the front line in a clash between destruction, oppression and liberty, with machines and sentients on both sides. But will the outcome be freedom, or the subversion of all life itself?
The much-anticipated, much-lauded conclusion to the Humanity's Fire trilogy, this was one roller-coaster of a wrap-up. I found it had ALMOST as many twisted plot elements as the previous two books combined. The revelations in this title though... well, there were fewer surprises than I expected. A lot of the "big twists" turned out to be less shocking and more "Oh, right so that's why..." instead.
I wasn't put off by that - I actually found it quite refreshing and relief-giving... too much tension and twist can make a good read into a hard slog all too quickly otherwise. So very predictable bits - in all three books, if I am to be quite fair - but nothing that really spoiled the plot.
I was intrigued by some of the amazing characters that popped up here and there, and in particular why the Roug played such a minor role, considering the big revelation about them... but I almost get the feeling there might be more stories from this universe to come... I can't pinpoint anything in particular that shouts out "This is not the end!" but there's a feeling of... openness, I guess... about the ending that leaves room for more, without ever really promising such. Quite clever really... tidy, but with a few places new threads could be slotted in...
Overall, a lovely conclusion to the trilogy... plenty of action where appropriate, a bit of a delicate touch here and there with the whole 'love on the battlefront' motif, and a story that could just as easily lay down to rest, or creep forward again into new adventures... I admit to being cautiously curious to see if my hunch plays out at all, and Michael isn't quite finished with humanity's far-flung daughter-forests just yet.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Meet the Flying Doctors: Princess Pearl, Sir Gadabout and, of course, their trusty 'air ambulance', Zog the dragon, in this fabulously original sequel to the best-selling Zog.
There's much to do, as they fly around tending a sunburned mermaid, a distressed unicorn and a sneezy lion. But should princesses really be doctors? Pearl's uncle, the King, doesn't think so - until he himself falls ill, and only Pearl knows how to cure him.
Donalsdon and Axel Scheffler at their sparkling best!
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