Humanity’s last surviving heroes must protect a shattered civilization from an all-conquering enemy in this thrilling sequel to The Cruel Stars.
The Sturm, an empire of “species purists,” have returned from the farthest reaches of Dark Space to wage a war against what they call mutants and borgs: any human being with genetic or neural engineering. In a sneak attack, they overwhelmed almost all of humanity’s defenses, blasting vicious malware across galaxy-spanning networks, dark code that transformed anyone connected to the system into a mindless psychotic killer. The Sturm’s victory seemed complete, their final triumph inevitable, until one small band of intrepid, unlikely heroes struck back.
Commander Lucinda Hardy and Admiral Frazer McLennan used the Armadalen Navy’s final surviving warship to fend off the Sturm, destroying the massed power of an entire Attack Fleet. With brilliant tactics—and support from drunken, grief-ravaged pirate Sephina L’trel and treasonous battle-rig operator Booker—this ragtag crew sent the Sturm running, managing to save Princess Alessia, the sole surviving heir to the gigantic Montanblanc ul Haq Corporation and perhaps Earth’s only remaining senator.
Now left with the remains of a fallen civilization, they must work together to rebuild what was lost and root out the numberless enemies of Earth. The Sturm invaders remain vastly more powerful—and they may not be the only threat lurking in the darkness of space.
About the Author
John Birmingham is the author of The Cruel Stars, Emergence, Resistance, Ascendance, After America, Without Warning, Final Impact, Designated Targets, Weapons of Choice, and other novels, as well as Leviathan, which won the National Award for Nonfiction at Australia’s Adelaide Festival of the Arts, and the novella Stalin’s Hammer: Rome. He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone, Penthouse, Playboy, and numerous other magazines. He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.