The latest entry in John Ringos Posleen War series reunites family members in a common cause against an enemy more deadly than the Posleen.
General Michael O’Neal is taken prisoner, and his entire Fleet Strike ACS unit-20,000 troops-is wiped out on the orders of the Darhel, aliens who, although allied with humans against the Posleen, hide a secret of corruption and manipulation. ONeal has discovered humans on the planet R-1496 Delta; the Darhel want that hidden. But they’ve failed to reckon on the toughness and talents of O’Neal and his daughters, Cally and Michelle, and their willingness to unite against a common enemy-particularly if there’s a chance to overthrow the Darhel.
New readers may be a bit lost here and there in references to events in earlier books. But overall this is fast-paced military science fiction with enough weapons, espionage, and strategy to satisfy everyone.
Ringo throws in all sorts of action: the ins and outs of treachery on the part of the Darhel; a kangaroo court hearing that sentences O’Neal to fifty years in prison; a mentat-assisted rescue; the assimilation of a rejuvenated SS Generalfeldmarschall (yes, that SS) and his surviving troops, including many of Jewish ancestry, into a new attack force against the new enemy; and the transformation of a WWII heavy cruiser, the USS Des Moines, into a starship/dreadnought that’s a match for just about anything the enemy can throw at it.
There’s also the added complication of sohon, a mental power bordering on magic, and the human and Indowy mentats. These practitioners of sohon must question everything they stand for and decide whether they can-or should-use sohon to defeat the Hedren, a new enemy race that uses its own version of sohon to control conquered species and change reality.
The Des Moines, by the way, has a human “avatar” named Daisy Mae, thanks to a Darhel AID-a device that allows communication anywhere, any time, but which is designed to be loyal to the Darhel. Each AID has a personality, but the Des Moines AID freed itself from Darhel domination, resulting in a personality that perhaps owes as much to a sohon-like force as to technology.
New and old readers will find the title something of a misnomer: “There is strife within the tempest, / But calm in the eye of the storm…” That said, they’ll be well pleased that this is so.