The Near-Earth Orbital Guard (Neo-G)—inspired by the real-life mission of the Coast Guard—patrols and protects the solar system. Now the crew of Zuma’s Ghost must contend with personnel changes and a powerful cabal hellbent on dominating the trade lanes in this fast-paced, action-packed follow-up to A Pale Light in the Black.
Zuma’s Ghost has won the Boarding Games for the second straight year. The crew—led by the unparalleled ability of Jenks in the cage, the brilliant pairing of Ma and Max in the pilot seats, the technical savvy of Sapphi, and the sword skills of Tamago and Rosa—has all come together to form an unstoppable team. Until it all comes apart.
Their commander and Master Chief are both retiring. Which means Jenks is getting promoted, a new commander is joining them, and a fresh-faced spacer is arriving to shake up their perfect dynamics. And while not being able to threepeat is on their minds, the more important thing is how they’re going to fulfill their mission in the black.
After a plea deal transforms a twenty-year ore-mining sentence into NeoG service, Spacer Chae Ho-ki earns a spot on the team. But there’s more to Chae that the crew doesn’t know, and they must hide a secret that could endanger everyone they love—as well as their new teammates—if it got out. At the same time, a seemingly untouchable coalition is attempting to take over trade with the Trappist colonies and start a war with the NeoG. When the crew of Zuma’s Ghost gets involved, they end up as targets of this ruthless enemy.
With new members aboard, will the team grow stronger this time around? Will they be able to win the games? And, more important, will they be able to surmount threats from both without and within?
K.B. Wagers is the author of the Indranan and Farian War trilogies from Orbit Books and the NeoG Adventures from Harper Voyager. They are a fan of whiskey and cats, Jupiter Ascending and the Muppets. You can find them on Twitter @kbwagers and Instagram @midwaybrawler for political commentary, plant photos, and video game play-throughs.
"Wagers’s second NeoG novel serves up buffet-size portions of everything their fans have come to expect: dug-in friendships, action, impossible odds, and clever dialogue that always hits home...Wagers’s characterization plumbs incredible depths, particularly with street rat–turned–engineering chief Jenks, a brain with vicious fists. Wagers’s fans should snap up this fun, thrilling latest." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Wagers’s sharp prose highlights the fast action and dialogue they’re known for, bringing to life this story of found family, talent, and hard punches." — Library Journal (starred review)
"Although the storyline is powered by an impressively intricate plot that features mystery, intrigue, and nonstop action, it’s the deeply developed characters and the dynamic relationships among them that fuel this narrative. Wagers creates a cast of characters that are not only authentic, but endearingly flawed...Top-notch character-driven science fiction." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Hold Fast Through the Fire is an ambitious, outstanding breath of fresh air in the military SF genre, and I would recommend it even to those who may not think of themselves as military SF fans.” — Chris Kluwe for Lightspeed Magazine
“If Wagers didn’t serve, they certainly got the skinny from somebody who lived it and it shows. They spin a captivating sea-story in space. As an ex-Coast Guardsman, I appreciate that what the crew lacks in gear, they make up for in heart. Semper Paratus.” — Nathan Lowell, creator of the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, on A Pale Light in the Black
“Every character is someone readers will enjoy spending time with, and exploring the characters’ relationships is the heart of the tale. […] Wagers’ first book in the NeoG series is an unexpected and refreshing twist on military science fiction.” — Library Journal on A Pale Light in the Black
“Wagers delivers a space adventure that’s a found family story that’s an interstellar conspiracy story that’s... it just keeps going! Fierce, rollicking, kind, intimate and vast. If A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had more kickboxing matches and death-defying space rescues, this would be the book. Go Neo-G!” — Max Gladstone, author of Empress of Forever, on A Pale Light in the Black
“Wagers kicks off the NeoG series with this fun, feel-good space opera. This effortlessly entertaining novel is sure to have readers coming back for the next installment.”
— Publishers Weekly on A Pale Light in the Black
“Great characters and white-knuckle tension. Recommended.”
— Gareth L. Powell, author of Embers of War, on A Pale Light in the Black