The Kordolians are loose on the asteroid mining station Fortuna Tau, and first-rank mechanic Jia Morgan has become caught up in the thick of things. Under the careful watch of these steely-eyed silver warriors, Jia and her team have been tasked with repairing the hull of the Kordolians' Alpha-Class battle cruiser,Silence.The problem is, their alien technology is far, far beyond anything she's seen before, and whatever they try to weld to Silence's black hull just won't stick.
When Jia goes in search of a tool that might actually penetrate the warship's impossibly strong Callidum exterior, she find herself being aided by a most unlikely source. The hard-faced warrior who's decided to accompany her walks on silent feet and carries a big, big gun. He's equal parts scary and attractive, in an otherworldly sort of way.
But although Jia finds this Kordolian fascinating, she's not even going to try and get close to him, because, well, he's a freaking Kordolian, and Kordolians aren't exactly known throughout the Nine Galaxies for being warm and fuzzy.
Instead, she's going to do her job and fix their warship, because that's the only way these intimidating warriors are ever going to leave Fortuna Tau. Hopefully, they won't break anything, or anyone, on the way out.
Oh, and there's also the small matter of these flesh-eating insect-aliens called Xargek. Apparently, they bite.
He is grumpy. He falls head over heels for a kick ass mechanic heroine. They have great adventures and mega sexy times. Good stuff.
This final part of the Centauri trilogy is perhaps the weakest one - it's a fast read, suspenseful and, of course, leading to the prophesized conclusion... but maybe that's its problem right there: it's too straight-forward, too predictable.
While Durla, the prime-minister, gains ever more power, and starts to resemble Cartagia in his power-lust and self-aggrandizing folly, Londo's getting weaker by the year. Vir's busy leading the resistance-movement (getting veiled hints from Londo), and David Sheridan turns 16 years old. Honoring Londo's request his parents gift him with an old urn, unleashing the ultimate battle for the boy's soul, and, on a larger scale, Centauri Prime.
Much of the culmination was already shown within the series, so that's turning practically the final third of the book into a retelling (In the Beginning, War Without End, just to name a few), albeit with some interesting insights. And of course, the Drakh aren't eliminated yet as a species, they're just driven away at the end - and they might well have lost their hold on Centauri Prime due to their arrogance.
This trilogy definitely was the story of Vir Cotto, coming into himself, much more so than it was Londo's, even if he's the tragic figure who perhaps started all this by allying himself with Morden. But it was also the story of unlikely allies, Centauri, techno-mages, a Narn, a former Hitler Youth-member, in some ways even the President of the Alliance. And it was a story about redemption and finding rays of light where you wouldn't have been looking before (such as Londo and his wife, if just for a short time); but also about overreaching and blinding arrogance and thinking that you can do no evil because you were chosen (such as with Durla, his wife Mariel, and his followers who all turned on him in the end).
But actually, the question of why Londo didn't interfere earlier, was not quite answered. He let himself be bonded to the Keeper because of the Drakh threat to detonate bombs on Centauri Prime... his life and service so that his people may survive. And of course, there was always the threat that they'd turn the next emperor, Vir, into their puppet if he refuses. The decline of his mental faculties was rather drastic, especially in this last novel, but did it have to take another 5 years, after Vir discovers the Drakh with the help of the Technomages, up until he helps Vir reveal the Drakh presence on Centauri Prime to the public? Or did he time it with David's "infection", knowing Sheridan and Delenn would rush after their son and come to Centauri Prime, enabling him to show them what's going on and therefore securing their help? And the other interesting question that wasn't quite solved was whether or not the Drakh plague or Earth could be cured - I realize that they possibly didn't know yet how Crusade would fare in the ratings, which would after all have told that story, and that's why David couldn't explore that facet a bit more, but since Crusade was cancelled, this didn't get resolved (unless it was in the Psi Corps-trilogy which I haven't read yet).
Overall, a good novel which brings all the plotthreads to a neat and plausible conclusion, even if it can't quite keep up the suspense till the end (but again, that's more due to the fact that the end was already known). A definite recommendation for the entire trilogy because one of the main questions, what happened next on Centauri Prime, is finally answered here.
This is about the point where the series goes from "hey, this is a fun little "what if" story" to "holy smokes, this is its own thing entirely", and the depth of character and world building we get is something I always cheerfully point to when people attempt to suggest fanfiction is not real writing. This is real writing, and it is real writing by a very good writer.
This is dark, seriously, and you may or may not like the path this is heading down. Harry is a huge, horrifying mess, but this is about him getting himself together in a lot of ways, and watching that happen is a beautiful thing.
It doesn't happen quickly, though. I could point to the sheer size of the page count for this (838, for those curious) to suggest it, but it is a very hard process for him, so having it happen quickly would require it to happen "off screen" in practice.
We get a lot of answers on how Harry was raised and why, as well as some lines being drawn that cannot be crossed again and that are going to color the rest of the series. Harry is coming into his own, finally, and learning that he is worth something on his own, and that involves a few other characters re-assessing their positions on things.
Things start getting complex at this point, as well. Not that they weren't kind of complex already, but here is where we start seeing political wrangling on top of everything else. There are a few new (and very well-developed) characters introduced to help us handle that aspect of it and to provide a crop of new wrangles in the fabric of this series.
I enjoyed this quite a bit, although it is an AU of my least favorite Harry Potter book. If you've read and enjoyed the previous ones, you probably don't need my recommendation to pick this up, but if you have not yet dipped your toes into the enormous pool of potential that is this series, this is a great time to go look at the first in the series, Saving Conner.