Galactic cults, impossible missions, first encounters, and robot rescuers fill this week’s collection of science fiction’s newest releases.
Black Labyrinth (Ruins of the Galaxy #5) – J. N. Chaney
A ship no one escapes from. A mission too impossible to execute.
Rocked by the death of a critical team member and haunted by the sudden disappearance of another, Magnus and Awen fight to rally the remaining Gladio Umbra in the wake of their raid on Worru. They’re forced to solicit support from some of the galaxy’s most unlikely sources.
But when Moldark’s forces show up unexpectedly, Magnus and Awen are torn between rescuing a missing gladia and protecting the larger mission.
New revelations about the Paragon surface, forcing the fledgling rebel resistance to find a way onto Moldark’s command ship, the notorious super dreadnaught Black Labyrinth.
The mission will be the Gladio Umbra’s most challenging yet, pushing the team to the breaking point.
Empire’s Ashes (Blood on the Stars #15) – Jay Allan
Tyler Barron is about to lead his fleet into a trap. He is sure the enemy is laying in wait, but he has no choice. After four years of unexpected calm along the front line, the Senate and the Hegemonic Council are demanding action, and the Pact’s commanding admiral has no choice but to set out on a mission to liberate the enemy-held regions of the Hegemony.
While Tyler prepares for an offensive he believes can only end in disaster, Andi Lafarge is preparing to continue her quest for the mysterious weapon the doomed empire used to defeat the Highborn centuries before. That search has largely been one of combing through old data and artifacts…until now. Andi’s path leads into the region of the Hegemony now know as Occupied Space, right past the Highborn defenses, to the shadowy and mysterious coreward regions of the old and fallen empire, and the ancient imperial capital itself.
The fleet will fight, struggling for a victory that may be out of reach, but even as they risk all, a new threat is growing, one far in the rear, along the regions of Confederation space that have been stripped of their defenses to support the war effort. The danger is real, and it is deadly. Tyler Barron and his spacers could see their home space invaded and destroyed, even as they fight for to achieve victory hundreds of lightyears away.
Faulty Prophet (Interstellar Caveman #2) – Karl Beecher
Colin’s supposed to deliver a prophecy. Problem is, he forgot what to say…
Evangelist Brock T. Hanson believes Colin Douglass to be the prophet he’s been waiting for his whole life, the man who will lead the faithful back to Earth and trigger the most momentous event since Creation itself. But there’s a problem.
Actually, there are several.
First, Colin Douglass himself doesn’t believe a word of it and is the kind of chap who’d rather stay at home with a nice cup of tea than cross the galaxy on some foolish, idealistic crusade. Second, Earth lies within the territory of the Transhackers, a race of cold-blooded, trigger-happy cyborgs who don’t easily forgive those who trespass against them. And third, Colin Douglass might not even survive a trip to Earth because he is succumbing to a life-threatening illness.
When Hanson kidnaps Colin and takes him to Earth anyway, Tyresa Jak sets off in hot pursuit to rescue Colin before either the Transhackers or his disease can destroy him.
Fight the Good Fight (Echoes of War #1) – Daniel Gibbs
Corporal David Cohen thought he’d left war behind.
He was wrong.
The Terran Coalition faces repeated and brutal attacks from the repressive League of Sol. To defend his home planet, David trades his dream of becoming a rabbi for a battlefront in the far reaches of space. When particle beams fly, his courage under fire brings quick promotion. But in the lulls between battles when he must confront his soul, David finds a different enemy: the ghosts of those killed under his command.
Yet in war, it’s kill or be killed—and the enemy shows no mercy.
David must square the tenets of his faith against his responsibility to crew and country. If he fails in his command, billions face enslavement by a ruthless regime. Now it’s an all-out fight for the galaxy’s freedom.
Because a man’s greatest foe lies within.
First Encounter – Jasper T. Scott
The United Nations of Earth sent out the Forerunner ships to explore and colonize the four most promising star systems within 50 light-years of Earth.
Forerunner One left Earth under the command of Captain Clayton Cross, heading for Trappist-1. After a ninety year journey to reach it, the crew encountered not only a habitable world, but alien life already inhabiting it, and dark secrets lurking beneath the surface.
The revelation of who these aliens are and what they want proves more terrifying than promising, and Captain Cross is forced to make tough decisions that will affect not only his crew, but the fate of the entire human race.
A Gulf in Time (The Progenitors’ War #1) – Chris Kennedy
With the Shaitan War at an end, Lieutenant Commander Shawn ‘Calvin’ Hobbs was able to finally complete the task given him by the long-lost Progenitors. Unfortunately, rather than getting a reward, the Progenitors’ rod was trapped, and it called the Progenitors’ ancient Enemy instead. Calvin and the crew of the Vella Gulf have now been given a choice—prepare the galaxy’s civilizations for the Enemy’s cull or become the first victims of that cull.
Calvin has overcome insurmountable odds before, however, and the crew of the Vella Gulf decides to fight. In order to win, though, they will have to answer one question that has never been answered in the history of the galaxy—how do you defeat an Enemy who can deactivate your weapons—and the artificial intelligence running your ship—at will?
Although Calvin and the crew of the Gulf have overcome every challenge given them previously, this time there doesn’t seem to be any hope for salvation. Terra’s allies aren’t any more prepared to fight this Enemy than they are, and there is no technology currently available that will let them even the odds. With the clock counting down to his extermination, Calvin will have to use everything at his disposal if he is going to find a way to win The Progenitors’ War.
Harbinger (First Colony #9) – Ken Lozito
A colony divided.
The Krake, a mysterious enemy who has brought about the collapse of entire civilizations, is hunting for New Earth.
Connor Gates, former elite soldier and now general of the colonial military, must find a way to protect the colony, which seems all but impossible when both humans and aliens alike are ignoring the very threat that should be uniting them all. To forge a future for the colony, Connor must risk everything.
Battle weary but vigilant, Colonel Sean Quinn must rebuild the morale of Trident Battle Group while fulfilling his mission, but when he receives an invitation to meet a Krake rebel faction, he must act. Sean seizes a rare opportunity to gather crucial intel about the enemy and possibly gain an ally, but can he trust them or will their betrayal doom them all.
Star Rage (Stars End #3) – M. R. Forbes
Events on Naraka leave Grayson exhausted but hopeful. The invaders may not be as unstoppable as he thought, and the entire weight of the Alliance is about to enter the fray. Rejoining the Navy should bring closure to his ordeal and allow him to return to his life as a pilot.
Except his mesh partner is still stranded on a freezing planet.
Except his past refuses to let go of his future.
Except the man he trusted to rally the defenses may have sabotaged them instead.
Humankind is on the verge of extinction, and if Grayson is going to stop it, he’ll have to outmaneuver opposition from every side of the equation.
Otherwise, there will be nothing left.
Steel Guardian: Rusted Wasteland – Cameron Coral
Can a gentle robot win the fight for humanity’s last hope?
Before the Robot Uprising, Block the CleanerBot dutifully followed his programming as part of a hotel cleaning crew. Now in the aftermath of the AI Apocalypse that annihilated the world, he tries to simply do his job, avoiding the dangerous SoldierBots who wage war on the last human survivors.
But when Block finds a mysterious human infant, he’s compelled to care for the girl and travel across the metal infested wastelands of America to a safe haven 700 miles away. Without proper food and care, the baby could die before he reaches safety. When he encounters Nova—a surly soldier who becomes an unlikely ally—they must tackle the biggest challenge of their lives.
Together they face mortal danger from bands of scavengers, militaristic SoldierBots, Combat Mechs, and a cyborg Bounty Hunter that will stop at nothing to find Block and the child—an infant who might hold the key to humanity’s future.