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.