Light of Impossible Stars by Gareth L. Powell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the third book in the Embers of War trilogy, and it's a crackling good read that ties up all the storylines in a most satisfying manner. The sentient warship Trouble Dog, fleeing from the alien Fleet of Knives she accidentally unleashed on humanity, has to regroup with her crew and a new player to defeat both that fleet and the higher-dimension creatures called "Scourers" to triumph.
There's a new character introduced in this book that we spend quite a lot of time with, and at first I was unsure about this character. However, her importance to the plot soon became evident, and the action quickly ramped up. This is a fast-paced book, but the author still has plenty of character moments, particularly in showing the Trouble Dog's growth. (And if you don't get a little misty-eyed over the death of another character, who has worked for and achieved a bit of redemption, you're a stronger reader than me.) The series as a whole is a grand space opera in the sense of showcasing five-thousand-year-old alien technology, rifts in space leading to another universe, and massive space battles, but it's also an intimate tale of a group of characters who become, after many heartbreaking losses, their own found family. The running theme through all the books is one of making a choice to help others and stand up for what's right, and thereby earn a second chance. This book absolutely sticks the landing, as the final chapter wraps things up beautifully.
This book, and the series as whole, is definitely a cut above the usual space opera fare, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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