Winds of Vengeance by Jay Allan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The fourth book in the Crimson World Refugees series jumps forward in time and skips much of the drudgery of literal world building on the new home for humanity. Earth 2 has been built using the most advanced technology the last of the Ancients left behind or at least as much of it as could be deciphered. Attacks from the remnants of the Regents fleets have long since ended and as usual the human race when it has time to look inward finds plenty to argue about and maybe ultimately fracture itself once again into separate states/groups.
As the political system on Earth 2 is on the brink of collapse a long range survey fleet has been engaged by an alien fleet very similar in technology to the Imperium yet slightly different, they fight for their lives and are able to launch a warning back to Earth 2. Admiral West leads the bulk of the home fleet to investigate the loss of communications and find the message drones and wreckage and then engages a vast enemy fleet that has been waiting to avenge the Regent.
It may be a little depressing that the Pilgrims, Newborns, Tanks and Mules (names used to segment the population) have found it impossible to get along after two decades but there is always individuals and small groups that use fear of the other to gain power. The rebirth of humanity on this "eden" has like the original been soured but again an external threat may be the catalyst for yet another opportunity for best of humanity to prevail.
Winds of Vengeance was enjoyable but took me a little while to fully commit to this storyline, the existence of a few of the characters from the previous books (now called pilgrims by the citizens of Earth 2) kept me interested and then I was back into the swing of things.
The combat aesthetic/narrative has changed thanks to the jump in technology but the underlying characterisation which any book has to depend upon remains and the rest is just icing so a must for a Crimson World fan as is the series for anything with an interest in military scifi.
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