Captain Keyes is not the same man he used to be and he has emerged from his captivity placing vengeance above all else. He is also willing to pay any price to get it. None of this is good news for his crew or his allies since the enemy fleet is far larger than they ever imagined. Even so, the real threat to team Keyes is not the enemy fleet itself but rather the Advanced AI that is controlling it. The presence of the AI behind the scenes makes things more complicated for everyone caught up in this mess and that AI is quite capable of out thinking anyone fighting against it. It has been lurking in the background for quite a long time and it planned for this very war long ago when it wrote the original Ixan Prophecies. Using its incredible ability to predict the future the AI put the prophecies into play many years ago and so far they are proving to be quite accurate. Is this a case of the AI predicting the future or are the prophecies themselves a form of manipulation? Free will may be battling destiny in this war but no matter which side you believe in there is no denying that the prophecies have always fortold the destruction of humanity.
Now that the various races are picking sides in the galactic war nothing could be more appropriate than for humanity to start fighting with each other. Dark Tech can no longer be relied upon by the human fleet so that makes Captain Keyes and the Providence a force to be reckoned with. The Providence is bigger and more well armored than any of the newer ships in the human fleet, perhaps even the entire galaxy, and as a Supercarrier class it can carry multiple wings of fighters making it a battle group unto itself. With the support of the alien personnel that he has allowed on board Keyes is plans do what is "right" even if it means fighting against his own race. What makes it all the more complicated is that all of these events were predicted in the Ixan Prophecies and Keyes is starting to believe that those prophecies are more than just religious mumbo jumbo. While he hopes to use what the prophecies predict as a form of military intelligence to help him win this war, he is also concerned that the prophecies could be manipulating him and others into taking actions that will ultimately make them come true. Not good when those prophecies end with the downfall of humanity.
An aging starship that is the last of it's kind within a fleet of modern warships has become a sci-fi trope at this point. In the case of Supercarrier, that ship is the Providence and it is not the only trope embraced right off the bat. Captain Keyes is a veteran of the first galactic war, and loved by the public, but he is hated by the rest of the military brass and that is why he captains the Providence. He has also just been assigned a first lieutenant to serve under him as a form of punishment to go along with a demotion for not following orders. That's three tropes so far but we better stop counting or we won't get to the actual story. Humanity has ruled the galaxy since winning the first galactic war by deploying Dark Tech (lol, what could possibly go wrong there) and the other races have started to resent us for it. Dark Tech allows our modern ships to do amazing things like create their own wormholes for travel and curve ordinance after they fire it, so it is a carefully guarded secret and shared with no one. We humans view ourselves as peacekeepers and believe that we use Dark Tech for the good of everyone, but the other races don't see it that way and they have had about enough of us. This is a powder keg of a situation just waiting for a spark...
Humanity may have survived the Phage War that occurred in the Black Fleet Trilogy but the impact of that conflict is just now starting to be revealed. The factions within the Terran Confederacy no longer desire an overarching government (or unified defense fleet) and just as things start to splinter apart two new alien races arrive on our doorstep. One race offers friendship while the other wants war, yet it isn't obvious which of them is the bigger threat...
The time has finally come for humanity to make a last stand against the Phage and they plan to do it in an all or nothing attack that puts everything on the line. This is what Senior Captain Jackson Wolfe has wanted for a while now and the renegade captain is finally going to get his way, so why is he having second thoughts about the plan? It is a dream come true to have a powerful ally in this fight against the Phage but Wolfe knows all too wlel that if something is too good to be true then it probably is.
Sci-fi authors do love their tropes, especially when they write a series focused on the discovery of an overwhelming alien threat, which has been done many times before. Invariably, after it becomes obvious that humanity is not prepared and faces a real possibility of being wiped out, the story turns inward and the human infighting commences. This is also where I sigh as the story goes on a tangent from the storyline that has my attention; however, much like he did in book one, Joshua Dalzelle embraces this typical trope and finds a way to deliver a compelling story anyway. This means that Call to Arms is more about human interactions than it is about the alien threat looming in the distance, but it is still worthy of your attention and it does set things up nicely for the series finale.
There is nothing all that unique about Warship. The formula used here has been done before and many of the usual tropes are included: a grizzled captain with secret bottles of alcohol in his closet, dysfunctional leadership back home in command, an old ship that is about to be retired, and one last mission that puts the ship off in a part of space by itself where it comes across a serious threat to humanity. Despite all that, I must admit that Joshua Dalzelle does it all in a way that just works for me. This is solid old school "single ship against crazy odds" sci-fi and when it was all said and done I was eager for more of it
Book 5 of the Ex-Heroes series sees Peter Clines return the series to something a bit more traditional than the last book. In fact, if this was a TV series this book would be considered a filler episode with only some minor character development going on. The larger story arc doesn't move forward all that much but since all your favorite characters from the series return it is still quite enjoyable. Book 4 was weird enough that fans of the series like me will find that a nice solid "back to reality" story really hits the spot.
When I first noticed this series I saw that the subject matter was a combination of a zombie apocalypse and super heroes and I knew this was not something that I would get into. Therefore I chose to ignore the series despite seeing many positive reviews for it. These books are also shorter than what I normally prefer so I had multiple reasons to pass this series up as the positive reviews continued to roll in. However, eventually I found myself looking for a change of pace so I decided to give it a try ore »and I am very glad I did. Peter Clines masterfully combines the two genres into an interesting, face-paced storyline with some surprising detail behind it. I listened to this series on audiobook and it felt like I was listening to a comic book filled with fun characters. I enjoyed every minute of it and eagerly await more.