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Publisher's Summary

The war with the Arduans - profoundly alien invaders who originally arrived in STL ships - is over. Most of those attackers are now probationary (and very productive) citizens of the Rim Federation.

However, many among the Arduans' warrior caste have accepted neither defeat nor the personhood of any of the other intelligence races. Their leader, the ruthless admiral of the second Arduan exodus, Amunsit, is in firm control of the Zarzuela system. Along with a fifth column among the peaceable Arduans, she hopes to find allies in subsequent refugee fleets that abandoned their race's now-dead home system long ago.

But as the victors' diplomats attempt to soothe tensions with these warlike neighbors, two heroes of the last war - veteran admiral Ian Trevayne and young troubleshooter Ossian Wethermere - suspect they have stumbled upon a deeper Arduan plot: one that could shatter the Pan-Sentient Union and perhaps interstellar civilization itself.

©2016 Steve White & Charles E. Gannon (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What happened to the writing!?!??

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

There are I think, for science fiction fans, certain things about physics one can lie about, and some things one just can't. The writer in this one crossed the line. Sure, get fancy with quantum physics, but standard old Einsteinian and Newtonian physics, nope, sorry you just can't make things up. For instance , a fist sized object moving at 90% light speed hitting an ocean is not going to cause very much problem for a world. It certainly is not going wipe most of a population out. Just in case your wondering, that' about 10Mt worth of bang. So why am I making a point of this.... when I hear something completely wrong technically, I loose my suspension of disbelief, and can't stay in the story. And THAT is what a writer is supposed to be doing. painting a rich tapestry that I can get embroiled in and care about. Nearly every battle in this book got derailed because of some glaring technical inaccuracy.
I still can recommend the book because the over all pot is good, but the technical storytelling in this one is awful!

Would you be willing to try another book from Steve White and Charles E. Gannon ? Why or why not?

I will be listening to the next book if for not other reason that this one was a cliff hanger ending, and I want to know what happens.

Which character – as performed by Marc Vietor – was your favorite?

Marc does an excellent job narrating the characters in the book. He gets a lot of exercise with this one as there are a LOT of characters in this one!

Could you see Imperative being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I can't see making this book in the series in to a movie or even a TV show, unless it was going to be some schlock done by the SciFi channel. Too much technically wrong.

Any additional comments?

I hope some one can get back to the Author on this one about the tech details going too far astray. The rest of the series has been great! And I highly recommend books 1-6.

4 people found this helpful

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Strains disbelief

I just can't buy the Arduans as a serious threat. They're certainly written like one, but either they're super geniuses, in addition to having FTL telepathy, or the entire PSU et al is full of morons.

We're expected to believe that a single system species that has had only what it brought with it and the resources of the void between stars, has not only kept it's entire tech and research base intact, but also retained the ability to field multiple warfleets capable of fighting an alliance of multi-stellar nations with probably hundreds of worlds to a stand still. However, it may just be that the protagonists are morons.

Almost a decade after learning that "high C fractional things full of religious fanatics might show up out of the black" and hundreds of years of space warfare, they neither have detailed skywatch or...and frankly given the existence of Orions (I'm pretty sure it's the first story...), seriously considered "any reaction drive is a weapon" in the context of a new reaction drive. Hell, the big devastating attack is almost exactly used by a character in the first round of this fighting, and he does it on the fly against a ship.

Even after all this, I still can't say where Arduans are getting their troops. Maybe they've got super manufacturing, perfect recycling and tons of FTL coordinated ships with "invisibility to morons" screens, but there's nothing that says they've got infinite armies. The PSU alone is probably a trillion people. But hey, maybe the 3 milliion Arduans can stymie the fleets of a hundred worlds from a 6 year old industrial base on a single world, and crew the ships...and coordinate over interstellar distance...and produce new technologies...and reverse engineer captured ones...and run a fanatic xenocidal movement...and and and...three times is the author contriving an excuse.

All of this was a real bother in book 6, but I shrugged it off to strategic and tactical surprise. Six years later they should have scanned the skies until they found the other ships and any admiral that thought wandering around the back waters of the third world was more important than "gee I wonder where the other 500 SD fleets of nutjob religious fanatics heading our way are" should be fired.

2 people found this helpful

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If you love the series...

I fell in love with the series with "In Death Ground". I am glad that I finished the series, but the formula used used over and over again in the series gets repetitive. It was hard to suspend disbelief that that an isolated system would create enough colony generation ships and that they could advance their technology and reform their ships to defeat massive stellar empires of hundreds of worlds, in 6 years. It is fantasy but sometimes it is too much.

1 person found this helpful

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hurry up and write the other book

great book really enjoyed reading it please let the author know to hurry up and write the next one because he literally left his on a major cliffhanger

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic Space Opera

This series is amazing. Gritty. Heartfelt. Never ceases in quality. Vietor aces the narration.

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fantastic series

I know when a book is good when I get mad at what happens to the characters and can't stop listening. There are some flaws in story that mite just be me being picky. But in all it a smart space story. I can't wait till I get to listen to the next in the series .

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Man this one was bad

it's the same story again and again. love White's writing but sheesh, this one was bad. Take the storyline of the past 2 books and mix it around a little, you get this one.

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a very good book 📖 👌

i enjoyed the book 📖 very much the book was a very good book thank you. 😊😊😊🖖🖖🖖

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Great Instalment

Great continuation of one of the best series in scifi. Well worth the tour time. I hope this universe continues after this story arc is completed.

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Improved over the last book!

For the first several chapters it seemed like a repeat of the last two books. About 1/3 of the way through, but then the author brought in new material. My only remaining complaint is that every time you blink, someone has developed a new miraculous devastating weapon... its sometimes like a bad tv drama where you aren't given enough background or information to make the connection. The story goes from the good guys having the best tech to ... oh wait a minute... the bad guys have the best tech... almost like pulling a rabbit out of a hat

I did like the book despite this issue