Select one of the keywords
The Last Emperox: The Interdependency #3    by John Scalzi order for
Last Emperox
by John Scalzi
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, Softcover, Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Last Emperox follows The Collapsing Empire and The Consuming Fire as the third in John Scalzi's far future Machiavellian space opera, based on The Interdependency, a space empire enabled by the Flow. Its extradimensional field facilitated trade between distant planets, leading to specialization of powerful trading Houses, and dependencies on trade for survival. Only one planet, End, can sustain human life on it own.

As the series opened, it was discovered that the Flow was disintegrating. After an assassination, the unprepared Cardenia ascended to the throne on the capital, Hub as Emperox Grayland II. Scientist Marce Claremont advised her on the imminent catastrophe and helped her explain it to those in power, who mostly remained in denial. The powerful trading House of Nohamapetan plotted against the throne and sought to control the planet End, and to move House resources there. The daughter of another House, foul-mouthed Kiva Lagos, worked against the Nohamapetan, in support of the Emperox.

As The Last Emperox opens, noble Houses plot how to exploit the coming cataclysm - and to save themselves. Their plans include assassinating Grayland, though some manage to kill off each other along the way. Well hidden, Nadashe Nohamapetan pulls all their strings, intending to take power herself. Meanwhile, Cardenia and Marce enjoy an interlude as lovers and even dare to plan a future together. Marce makes a new discovery about what's happening with the Flow. Can they survive themselves and can they possibly prevent billions from dying?

Scalzi presents fans with a fitting conclusion to this spectacular trilogy in The Last Emperox. Though all the characters are well formed, I especially enjoyed Kiva's 'policy of pragmatic, committed selfishness' and where it led her, personally and politically. Don't miss anything that this author writes, especially not his Acknowledgements here. He strongly encourages Americans to vote in November 2020 and to 'Try not to vote for anyone who is a whirling amoral vortex of chaos.' Hear, hear!!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews