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Battlespace: Book Two of the Legacy Trilogy    by Ian Douglas order for
by Ian Douglas
Order:  USA  Can
Eos, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I've been hooked on Ian Douglas' Marine space adventures since his Heritage trilogy exploded on the scene with Semper Mars. Battlespace is the second book in the second (Legacy) trilogy. In the first episode, Star Corps, Marines were sent to Ishtar to rescue humans enslaved there to the Ahannu for generations. Stars of those exploits include (then Captain) Martin Warhurst and John Garroway, a descendant of favorite characters in the first trilogy.

Readers followed John through basic training to fight for human freedom on Ishtar, a moon of a gas giant circling the Llalande sun. Just returned from that mission - and suffering severe culture shock from the time warp involved in their previous expedition - he and his fellow Marines are sent 8.6 light years out again to Sirius, where the Wings of Isis (on which John's fiancée Lynnley served) has disappeared after transmitting images of a titanic Wheel/Stargate. It's postulated that the ship was destroyed by the Hunters of the Dawn, who have wiped out countless galactic civilizations.

Back on Earth, things are deteriorating big time - sea levels rising, weather violently unpredictable, climate change accelerating, religious sects in conflict - the 'black forces of War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death' are abroad, and alien technology is sought as a potential solution. En route to Sirius, Major Warhurst reads about the Nommo, an advanced alien species that may have helped prehistoric mankind and who supposedly came from that region of space. An engaging new character to follow in this episode is idealistic medic-in-training Phillip Lee, who volunteers for Sirius.

As always, Ian Douglas (William H. Keith, Jr.) writes thrilling, heroic space battles with fascinating and credible use of technology. And he gives us equally credible human politics and corruption (driven by corporate greed), as well as encounters with surprising aliens. The action builds to a crescendo of a conclusion, that pits the human fleet against the technologically superior Xul ship that destroyed the Wings of Isis. I can't wait for what comes next.

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