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With the allied colony on Hot Segovia abandoned and a massive insectoid armada threatening an invasion of the human and Hroom worlds, Drake, Tolvern, and Vargus fight a war across multiple fronts to stem the enemy tide.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Capp, the only person to have successfully communicated with the aliens, believes the insectoids intentions are not as destructive as they appear. Even as allied forces are pushed to the brink, she hatches a scheme to hand herself to the enemy in a desperate bid to restore peace. But with the Greater Hive transitioned to a war footing, the insectoids may no longer desire, or even be capable of anything short of total genocide.
Ce que les auditeurs disent de Blood of the Hive
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- Jas P
Exceptional End to Sensational Series!!
Blood of the Hive starts with Capp in a bad way after trying to learn the language of the Cavlee in an attempt to try and be able to broker a peace agreement between the Roaches and Humans. But the impact of the Cavlee language is overheating the language chip in her brain, as it is not meant for alien languages, only translating other human languages. As such, she is not only suffering a fever, she is in a coma.
Meanwhile, the battle continues between the Insectoids and the Humans, with heavy losses on both sides. However, the Insectoids have thousands of more ships, and can take the losses, in both the New Segovia system and beyond the jump gate, where Admiral Drake and his fleet are also fighting a huge fleet.
This is a fascinating story, we get to see both sides, on the Human side, we have Tolvern, communicating with Drake, in one battle, not exactly wanting to fight, but having no choice, and as such, giving it everything. In another battle, we have Vargus and McGowan, also fighting for their lives, wanting nothing more than to escape, with both the troops on one planet, and the colonists on the other, but neither the resources or time to rescue either, as the Roaches won’t give them the chance.
In the middle of all of this, Capp is desperately arguing with Tolvern to be able to have the chance to speak with the Insectoids, as she thinks there is a chance for peace, but Tolvern is worried about the cost to Capp, and wants to turn off the chip in her head.
On the other side, we get to see the Insectoids, Ast, now fully formed into a Grand Archon, and actually no longer Ast, but the ruler of all the Insectoids as the leader of the hive. He is pushing for war, and the destruction of the humans, believing that they are like the ‘Gray Slavers’ (the Adjudicators), and want nothing more than the destruction of the Insectoids. However, Citrine is constantly pushing for peace, and reminding him that he used to be Ast, and Ast wanted peace to.
And so we have this fascinating dichotomy with the Humans on one side, with their representative, urging for peace, and on the other side, the Insectoids, with their representative. And in the meantime, a brutal conflict rages across a huge part of space.
Wallace has built this amazing storyline, with both sides being pulled towards this inevitable conflict, but when it has eventually struck, both sides have begun to wonder if it is actually worth it, having just fought such a brutal, and vicious war with the Adjudicators, neither wants another war, but neither is willing to back down either.
Wallace has written this really clever story, with such well thought out politics, strategy and tactics. It is utterly enthralling watching as both sides are pulled into this conflict, the misgivings that both have with regards to it, and the internal struggles that their leadership have about another long term conflict.
More than that though, Wallace has put a lot of time and effort into so incredibly complex and in-depth, multi-faceted galaxy building, as it is not a single system this affects, or even a few systems, but this conflict actually affects most of the galaxy. The jump gates for the system are key to jumping into Insectoid, Human, and Hroom territories, and that is why the system is so important, and this is played and discussed on both sides, and the ramifications.
Wallace has put a lot of time and effort into generating this galaxy, not just for this series, but for all the other series to, as the Blackbeard crew move closer to ‘Earth’, uncovering different elements of Humanity along the way (Scandians, Singaporeans, Persians, Ladino, Albionish, etc), it has made for an extraordinary series, with so much depth, and that detail continues to grow in this series. It is not just the mapping though, it is each of the Human races, each with their own specific cultures, ships, technology, the different aliens, again, all with their own tech, multi-faceted cultures (The Hroom are so incredibly complex, not to mention the detail of the Insectoids!!) Wallace’s World Building is just Masterful.
And that skill is not just with the World Building, it is also with the Characters, from the Humans, to Hroom, to the Insectoids, Wallace has created these stunning and captivating characters, each with their own intensely detailed background, and each with their own unique personality. You really get to know each of the characters, from the Rough as guts Capp, but who is so incredibly loyal, and a lot smarter than people give her credit for. Tolvern, easily one of the best Captains in the fleet, but still unsure of herself because of coming up under Drake’s shadow. Vargus, impetuous, but clever, and able to get herself out of a bind. Then there is McGowan, well, I can’t use those words here….
Nyb Pym is so graceful, intelligent, and you get the feeling he thinks humans can be too emotional at times, but he is trying to understand them. He is very loyal. The Insectoids are fascinating, Ast/Grand Archon, confused, doesn’t know who he should be right now, benevolent? Or Ruthless? What is better for the Hive? Citrine, honourable, loyal, but also disobedient when it comes to getting her point across. Strongly believes in peace.
These and so many more characters are just exceptional, individual, highly in-depth and incredibly detailed pieces of work, it just shows the quality of work that Wallace provides for his story-telling.
One thing that has to be mentioned are the combat scenes. The intricate aspects of each part of the combat scenes is so stunning, so well written, you quite literally feel like you are in the ships with the pilot, or on a drone watching it unfold, it is so intense. Wallace provides these gritty, brutal, intricately detailed combat scenes (whether in space or on the ground), but the space combat scenes are just sensational, and utterly mind-blowing. It is like Wallace has actually played the scene out in real life and then written it, his work is not just thrilling, but just spectacular.
Overall, this is a sensational end to this particular trilogy, but as with the rest of the series, it does leave it open for another series (thankfully!!). Having said that, Wallace provides a really satisfying, and brilliant end.
If you have read any of the other books, you will love this series, and this book, it is well worth the read!!
Steve Barnes has a very unique voice, and I think it is perfectly suited for this series, as he has this particular tone to his voice that he can really create some wonderful voices for these types of characters. He not only does a brilliant set of Humans, whether they be Scandian, from the Crown (Such as McGowan or Admiral Drake, with that stuffy edge to their voices), to the rough edge of Capp, or Ladino like Carvalho, but he also does an exceptional set of alien voices, from Hroom, to the new Insectoid, where he has done a masterful job with characters such as Ast and Citrine, and all the rest, not only doing really fantastic voices, but portraying their emotions as well. Barnes has done remarkably well with the Insectoids I think, in that, they communicate by scent, not talking, and even though this has been done via talking (we don’t communicate through smell, and having a smelldible would be rather gross I think!!), Barnes has managed to capture that they are not talking, but communicating by another means, and still convey the emotional state of the insectoids that are being affected.
Barnes does an absolutely sensational job with the Narration, so good, that it is easily far better to listen to this book than read it, as he provides so much more to the story as he Narrates it.