Book Review: The Blood-Dimmed Tide


Michael R. Johnston

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 13th February 2020
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Reclaiming Earth from the Zhen was only the beginning. For the first time in a thousand years, humans walk the world where their civilizations first arose. Settlements have become towns, swelling with new settlers fleeing the oppression and lies of the Empire. For the first time in a thousand years, the human race is free. But freedom never comes without a price, and a year of rebuilding ends with the human homeworld pushed to the brink of collapse by a series of Zhen attacks. Tajen Hunt, the man who found Earth and uncovered the truth about the Zhen, is sent to the Kelvaki Assembly to ask for ships and pilots to bolster Earth’s defenses. Between an assassination attempt on the Heir to the Assembly throne and the labyrinth of loyalties that is Kelvaki politics, it’s not an easy task. And it’s made impossible when the Zhen Empire seizes control of Earth and sets up a brutal Occupation. Now Tajen and his team must return to Earth and find a way to end the Zhen occupation. But unlike the first Battle of Earth, the lines between friend and foe are no longer clear – because the Zhen have human agents among the people of Earth – and not all of them are known.

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Book Review: The Widening Gyre


Michael R. Johnston

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 14th March 2019
spoilers? a couple

Goodreads

Eight hundred years ago, the Zhen Empire discovered a broken human colony ship drifting in the fringes of their space. The Zhen gave the humans a place to live and folded them into their Empire as a client state. But it hasn’t been easy. Not all Zhen were eager to welcome another species into their Empire, and humans have faced persecution. For hundreds of years, human languages and history were outlawed subjects, as the Zhen tried to mold humans into their image. Earth and the cultures it nourished for millennia are forgotten, little more than legends. 

One of the first humans to be allowed to serve in the Zhen military, Tajen Hunt became a war hero at the Battle of Elkari, the only human to be named an official Hero of the Empire. He was given command of a task force, and sent to do the Empire’s bidding in their war with the enigmatic Tabrans. But when he failed in a crucial mission, causing the deaths of millions of people, he resigned in disgrace and faded into life on the fringes as a lone independent pilot. 

When Tajen discovers his brother, Daav, has been killed by agents of the Empire, he, his niece, and their newly-hired crew set out to finish his brother’s quest: to find Earth, the legendary homeworld of humanity. What they discover will shatter 800 years of peace in the Empire, and start a war that could be the end of the human race.

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