Spoiler Alert! I discuss some plot details. If you don’t want to know, then long story, short, it’s another great addition to the Galaxy’s Edge series. It’s full of daring heroics, brilliant battle scenes and fascinating characters trying to survive the downfall of the Galactic Republic.
Up until “Message for the Dead,” Jason Anspach and Nick Cole had made their series, Galaxy’s Edge about the conflict between the factions fighting for control of the Galactic Republic. The Legion has attempted to maneuver in the military, moral and political space between the corrupt civilian government of the Republic (The House of Reason) and the active military enemies of the Republic represented by the zhee, the Mid Core Rebellion (MCR) and the Black Fleet Forces of Goth Sullus (now known as the Empire). But by the conclusion of the previous volume (Turning Point) the Legion had used their constitutional authority to denounce the House of Reason, to force an investigation of their corruption and to call for new elections. This looked like a step forward to resolving the crisis and allowing the Legion to concentrate on the external military threat. Hah!
In Message for the Dead FUBAR is the order of the hour and all hell breaks loose. The main battle scene in the space around the Republic’s capitol planet Utopion is a swirling cauldron of death for all the fighting forces, Republic Navy, Legion, Black Forces and the MCR. But none of them are prepared for the arrival of the Cybar. They are the biggest wild card in the battle and their allegiance is misunderstood by most of the combatants.
And in this book, we finally learn the depths of X’s duplicity. He’s been using the Legion, the House of Reason and the Black Fleet as chess pieces in his own merciless campaign to reshape the Galaxy’s government through violent crisis. We finally get to hear his specific plan and his self-justification from his own lips.
And in the foreground of the story is the Legion’s best soldiers, Victory Squad. In various situations, they and their friends fight to save civilization from the predators and the tyrants. But by the end of the story they are fighting just to stay alive. At the beginning of the book Captain Keel recruits friends and even enemies to help him rescue his shipmates from the Cybar mother ship. By the end of the book Keel is called on to repay the favor by rescuing Major Chun and all that is left of Victory Squad from the midst of a planetary extermination operation being perpetrated by the Cybar.
Well, now that Anspach and Cole have destroyed everything in sight I guess they’ll have to write about ten more books to try and put humpty-dumpty back together again. These boys are really getting it done. I read these books as fast as I get my hands on them. They balance the story between the military action, science fiction elements and the human interest in the characters. The sheer number of characters they create is impressive but the detail is there and that helps keep the reader’s interest from flagging.
Interestingly, the story is now introducing an aspect that seems to be an echo of older mythology. It’s too early to tell but I think there is an almost Tolkienian plot element being introduced. Of course, this is a guess on my part. What has occurred is so far only a suggestion of a plot direction. We’ll see.
Hail Galaxy’s Edge. Long may you torture your legionnaires and my bank account.