Barbarians at the Gates - more military sci-fi from Christopher G. Nuttall
Right from the start this book thrusts you into the fight for humanity's future as Earth finds itself under assault. Of course Earth is the most heavily defended planet in the human Federation so it is unthinkable that anyone would attack it, which is why the defenders of Earth find themselves so unprepared for such a bold move. The reader experiences the initial battle, and the rest of the story, from two very different perspectives - one being Admiral Marius Drake, who surprisingly finds himself coordinating Earth's defense, and Roman Garibaldi, a promising student in the naval academy who is about to graduate into service. These two men will do their best to maintain the human Federation that has shaped mankind's existence for hundred of years, but ultimately, they will both need to wrestle with the fact that the organization they are fighting for may not be worthy of survival.
Christopher G. Nuttall is a veteran author who is no stranger to military sci-fi and I enjoyed the trilogy of books that starts his Ark Royal series, although both series are very different in nature. This time around it is not an overwhelming alien threat that has mankind fighting for survival but rather it is our own inability to fairly govern ourselves that is the ultimate threat. Loyalists and rebels alike have valid reasons for their positions and as the war rages on it is really hard to say who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Drake and Garibaldi are both men of honor, but their faith in the Federation may be misplaced, and therefore it isn't a given that you should root for them to win.
This book kicked off the series in high gear and by the time it was over I was certainly eager for more. As a fan of military sci-fi I definitely got my fill of naval space battles with this one, but it you are the type that prefers your sci-fi stories to be carried by the characters themselves then you might find this one slightly lacking.
Audiobook fans are in good hands with Tim Gerard Reynolds at the mic and his delivers yet another excellent performance.