Genre: military psychic sci-fi with a hint of romance
Cover: gorgeous, I love it.
Her story began in the national bestsellers A Soldier's Duty and An Officer's Duty. Now Ia is captain and commander at the helm of Hellfire, where she is finally free to chart the course for the fulfilment of her destiny…
Ship’s Captain Ia must assemble a crew that can rise to the ultimate challenge of saving the galaxy. The hardest part will be getting them to believe her, to trust in her prophecies. If they don't, her own crew will end up being the biggest obstacle in her race against time.
The Salik are breaking through the Blockade, plunging the known galaxy into war. Ia cannot stop it this time, nor does she want to. This is the terrible price she has seen all along—that some must pay with their lives so that others might live. Now only time itself can prove whether each member of her crew is merely a soldier or truly one of Ia's Damned.
I have been waiting for this third book in the series a whole year, but it was well worth the wait. And waiting for the fourth book will take another year, and that is so killing me! Beware, gushing review follows!
As Captain of her own ship, and with the Admiral-General of the Terran Forces behind her, Ia is having carte blanche in where to use her ship in fighting and ultimately destroying the Salik. As the most powerful precog ever born, Ia can see the timelines of everything than can possible happen, and what she needs to do to ensure the best possible outcome, to save the most lives. This is not easy, as sometimes she has to sacrifice people in order to save others. She knows everyone who dies, all their names, and how they die. In order to stay sane to carry this burden, she needs to stay in action, see the results what happens when she saves this colony instead of that spacestation, check the timelines time and again.
She needs the trust of her crew to be able to do the most good, they need to have confidence in her abilities to guide them, and to follow her orders without hesitation. She knows the powers that be have planted some spies in her crew, but she knows who they are, and how to circumvent them if necessary. But she would prefer to sway them to support her.
The Hellfire is the fastest and most deadly ship out there, and her secrets have to be kept a secret. There can be no chance of it falling into enemy hands. The canon that is the core of her ship, is capable of such destruction, when it misses its target, its fire will be deadly for months. This makes Ia the only person capable of shooting it, as she can see where her enemy will be in the next ten seconds.
She has her friend and chaplain Benny with her, and some of her friends she trained in the academy, and she needs Meyun Harper in engineering, even though it will be very hard to keep her distance from him. There can be no relationship between them whatsoever, except that of good friends. She also needs him to make a weapon that will make her a full blood Feyori when the time is right, and for that, they will need to visit the Timesafe on Earth, where the Immortal stores her knowledge of the ages. Ia will need more technology than is available at the moment to be able to win the war against the Salik, and to prepare the galaxy for the next war.
In the previous book she made an enemy out of one of the Feyori, and he is actively working against her now, not having a clue what her final goal is: to safe the galaxy from being destroyed 300 years from now. And this means, she needs a Feyori ally herself, something she hoped she did not have to do for a while yet.
Ia also needs to be formally acknowledged as the Prophet of a Thousand Years by the V’Dan, and to earn their trust and loyalty.
I loved the book very much, it is chock full of action and fighting. Ia keeps helping her home planet and the rebels on it and I love to read how she thwarts the church officials. Ia is a great captain, a good leader even though she knows how to act to get the most result. Still, Harper is a mist for her, and she cannot predict him or the things around him, and it keeps her on her toes. Ia hurts for everyone she loses, for every battle she cannot fight, every hard choice she has to make. And I so admire her strength and her loyalty.
Yes, the book had me in tears a few times, and laughing at other times. I was totally immersed in the story while reading. Jean Johnson’s writing style is perfectly matched to my reading tastes.
The ending blew me away, and I hate to have to wait a whole year for the next book. Still, if you have read my interview with Jean Johnson, she is planning plenty more books and stories to keep me a happy reader in the coming years.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian