Summary

A bloke named after an army helicopter, together with his crew, runs around killing lots of people and blowing up lots of things. Oh and they save the universe too.

Written by
Jay Allen in 2015

There’s nothing like a gladiator match to open a book. There’s also nothing like Arkarin Blackhawk, the genetically enhanced manly man who’s the hero of this book (and the rest of the trilogy). This is action space opera without too many cares about the rules and regulations of paltry things like physics.

Blackhawk is a resident of a sector of space known as the Far Stars, a semi lawless and very poor part of the galaxy. Despite this, everyone is quite happy being independent and being able to choose their own destiny, unlike the poor buggers trampled under Imperial boots on the other side of The Void.

No matter. Blackhawk is on a dangerous mission for his good friend, Marshal Augustin Lucerne, an honourable man trying to unite the Far Stars and ensure that the Imperials can never threaten their freedoms again. Of course, this means lots of wars, beginning on his homeworld of Celtiboria, and then a mix of diplomacy and force for the rest of the planets in the sector.

Meanwhile, the new Imperial governer of the Far Stars, Kergen Vos is plotting how he’ll end the freedom and lawlessness and bring the entire sector under the control of the Empire once again.

I’ll say it now, Shadow of Empire is not a complex book. It’s deliberately NOT complex. This is good. It’s not pretending to be anything other than an enjoyable action adventure set in space and distant worlds. The characters are, for the most part, as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face and most if not all problems are solved with firepower. Overwhelming firepower.

But you know what? I don’t care. The story and the action are simply too good and too enjoyable for caring about complex, multidimensional characters. I LIKE it that Blackhawk’s crew includes a set of twins that wield gatling guns like they were mere pistols (that fire thousands of rounds a minute). Because why the hell not?!

Shadow of Empire has gathered all the recipes for a fun and light space cowboy adventure. It delivers, and the sequels promise much more of the same. Somehow, I can’t wait.

Rating

Really enjoyable. Who cares about collateral damage done to scientific accuracy?

Read this if you…

Are looking for space cowboy adventuring coupled with enormous firepower.

Don’t read this if you…

Have Klingons on the starboard bow.

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