Battleground by Joshua Dalzelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Humanity has survived yet another interstellar conflict but its greatest challenge is emerging as the Eastern Star Alliance having broken away from the rest of the human worlds sees an opportunity to claim resources thanks to their insignificant action and negligent losses during the last war. The Confederation sends out Admiral Jackson Wolfe along with a task force to "show the flag" as it were but they are unaware of the long planned objective of the ESA to use the defeat and capture of Wolfe to encourage the drive for an all out invasion on their part and provoke a rash reaction on the part of the Confederation. As the military of all sides play out a game that one half remains unaware it is rigged the spies and politicians play their own game but when the weapons are unleashed all bets are off and survival is as important as victory.
The first book of a new trilogy within the Black Fleet saga starts strong and takes us deep into the new interstellar dynamic which at this point is conflict within humanity. Yet we still see that as always events turn on the decisions and actions of individuals and the narrative continues to play that aspect strong. An enjoyable addition to the series and looking forward to the next novel.
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