That Which Other Men Cannot Do

And so it ends (for now).

What they have not yet seen, is that we are willing to go above and beyond, to take that extra step, to cross the furthest line…that we are willing to do what other men cannot do…what the Jung already do. That is a valid reason to attack the Jung home system.

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The Weak and the Innocent

It turns out that Captain Nash didn’t die in A Show of Force after all, and there’s still a chance that the Jung won’t steal a jump drive . There will be a tense few scenes before we find out for sure. It does rob the ending of A Show of Force a bit, but The Frontiers Saga has always felt somewhat like a television series and for that genre it fits. You need to raise the stakes, but the twist is almost always that the heroes found a way to survive .

Otherwise, all sorts of things are happening. The Pentaurus Cluster has descended into open civil war and can no longer supply the Aurora and the Alliance. Ground troops are forced to withdraw. The Aurora/Celestia get beat up again. Deliza comes back to show off her super smarts and upgrade the Falcons to SUPER Falcons.

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A Show of Force

It’s interesting seeing A Show of Force escalate from where we were earlier in the series. The Aurora and her crew have kicked one evil empire’s butt, freed the Earth, and are now taking the fight to the Jung, clearing a 20 light year radius.

It’s a pretty crazy book, with lots of fights, both on the ground and in space. Nothing hugely surprising happens, with most of the book pushing towards the final confrontation I expect we’ll see shortly. We do see a lot more of the Jung now, seeing them as at once more human and at the same time as a force worth fighting. It’s far better than the faceless evil enemies that we’ve had for so long.

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Rise of the Alliance

With Rise of the Alliance, we’re really getting towards the end of the series. The stakes are getting higher, the enemy ships are getting bigger, and the battle jargon is getting denser.

At first Aurora and Celestia are all beat up again (of course), but for the moment, they have time. By the end, battle has escalated heartily. The Alliance fleet is growing, there are even more jump capable ships, and even more Ghatazhak. They’re going to win eventually, that’s to be expected, but it’s still interesting to see how they get there.

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Born of the Ashes

Getting a bit harder to find things to say. The Aurora/Celestia/their crews may have kicked the Jung off the Earth for now, but there’s an entire fleeting coming their way and not nearly enough time to do everything they really need to defeat them.

All sorts of ridiculous (both in the crazy and the awesome sense of the word) space battles and of course eventually the Aurora will save the day–but at what cost. The idea of the Jung bombing entire cities out of existence out of little more than spite and to deny them to the Terrans escalates the scale of battle yet again.

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Liberation

This was a pretty crazy book so far as progressing the story. The Aurora, Celestia, and their crews and allies have a long slog ahead of themselves to free the Earth from the Jung, but they all have one huge advantage: nine books worth of experience in using the jump drive in combat!

There are battles galore, some people die, we get a few new allies and piles and piles of ‘five minutes to impact, three to jump’. Everything you’ve come to know and except from a Frontiers Saga book. :D

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Resistance

After Celestia CV-02, I was worried that the Aurora and her crew would take the backseat for the rest of the series. Luckily, from Resistance, this appears to not be the case. We still do get a wider selection of points of view–on the Aurora, the Celestia, on the Jung controlled world Tanna, and even back on Earth–but the Aurora is once again the core of the story.

Things are really moving along now, with various space battles and intrigue. I do appreciate the focus on the Aurora, but the mechanics of living on a barely functional Celestia, where you can’t even get between the two sections of the ship are fascinating. I’m curious to see if the Celestia can be finished, especially without the resources and allies the Aurora had a thousand light years away.

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Celestia CV-02

As one could probably guess from the title, Celestia CV-02 is the first book (after 7!) of the series that doesn’t focus on the Aurora and her crew.

On one hand, it’s a nice change of pace and gives a much broader view of the universe the Aurora (and now Celestia) and their crews inhabit. On the other, we’ve spent a lot of time with the Aurora now! I want to know what’s next! (We do get some Aurora time though.)

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The Expanse

After half a dozen books, the Aurora is finally back at full strength and on the way home. Their adventures in the Pentaurus Cluster were pretty cool, but it’s about time to move on. All things considered, it was a crazy journey, with a black hole and a centuries old lost colony ship. A thousand light years in a book.

One thing that has been a little crazy this entire series but really comes to a head is that Nathan was charged with bringing the Aurora home. I don’t begrudge many of the decisions he made to make new allies and gain new technology, but the number of times he delays and/or risks the irreplaceable Aurora and her crew is maddening.

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Head of the Dragon

The first large section of Head of the Dragon follows the Aurora and her crew as they plan just what they have to do to maintain what little surprise Einstein has allowed them before the Ta’Akar learn who, what, and where they are. It’s somewhat plodding and slower than a lot of the previous books, but still relatively interesting.

The last third or so… dang that just doesn’t let go. Ground forces dropping from space, ships jumping all over the place, orbital bombardment, a whole handful of capital ship to ship combats … and a big twist that we really all should have seen coming, but was still well enough done. It’s quite a send off to the first long section of the Frontiers Saga.

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