The sequel to His Majesty’s Starship (The Ark), is filled with complicated politics, ingeniously different aliens and brutal fire fights.
Lieutenant Joel Gilmore, part of a space observation team on the asteroid SkySpy, who come under attack by an aggressive, technologically advanced species of aliens known as the XC’s (Xenocides). Its a race against time for their fellow soldiers to rescue them. During the attempt, the rescue team uncovers shocking secrets of the solar system.
“The book is, unfortunately, timely. It neatly and unpatronisingly points to the double standards we apply in politics: we are exploring, you are invading; we are ignorant, you are stupid; we recognise authority, you are slavish and therefore suitable to be enslaved; and it goes beyond this.”
“This is good science fiction, offering imagination and ideas in equal measure, and gives us Ben Jeapes as one of the shamefully few writers who can create original SF for a teenage readership. Offer this to good readers who have yet to be convinced that there is life beyond Star Trek/Star Wars spin-offs.”
The School Librarian
“This is a book about racial (interspecies) conflict, and the breadth of imagination is awesome. The ethics of war are revisited again and again as codes of behaviour among different species are intelligently interrogated. Communication too is a central theme: where there is no common language, what stretch of sympathy, what breadth of sophisticated interspecies knowledge is needed to interpret body language accurately? This is an exciting, demanding but hugely rewarding exercise in science fiction writing.”
“Incorporating the best qualities of YA SF, this is a space opera that employs sociological examination and world building of a very high order — who could ask for anything more? A rip-roaring read.”
“Deftly switching between viewpoints and time frames, Jeapes tells a story of interspecies and interworld rivalries that moves at the speed of a space launch. No one has a lock on virtue or even decency, not to mention brains; in this arena, but one thing is clear: A unilateral human victory is neither guaranteed nor necessarily desirable. All kinds of assumptions are shaken up.”
The Washington Post Book World
“Jeapes delivers a space opera worthy of David Brin or early C.J. Cherryh, replete with complex politics; ingeniously different aliens; brutal fire fights; cliff-hangers; and tough, likeable characters.”
School Library Journal