At the cost of many lives, the Democracy has managed to clone and train General Michkag, one of the Traanskei's master strategists. Colonel Pretorius and a hand-picked team must kidnap the real Michkag if they can, assassinate him if they can't, but no matter which, put the clone in his place, where he will misdirect the enemy's forces and funnel vital information to the Democracy.
Against the odds, Pretorius, along with Cyborg Felix Ortega, computer expert Toni Levi, convict and contortionist Sally "Snake" Kowalski, the near-human empath Marlowe, the alien Gzychurlyx, and Madam Methuselah - the Dead Enders - must infiltrate the Fortress in Orion, accomplish their mission, and escape with their lives."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Resnick returns to his Birthright universe with this middling launch title for the Dead Enders series. His take on the military caper novel in space is entertaining, but it lacks the verve of his earlier space westerns. Col. Nathan Pretorius, recovering after a near-fatal mission, is recruited by the Democracy to assemble a crack team, infiltrate the world of the alien Kabori, and replace their top general with a clone. He gathers a strongman, a thief, a hacker, an empath, and a shapeshifter of sorts, and they set off. Along the way, there are surprisingly few challenges, most of them subverted with relative ease, so tension never has a chance to develop. As always, Resnick includes larger-than-life characters and interesting ideas (e.g., Proto isn’t a true shapeshifter because he projects images into people’s heads, but still remains his usual self), but the plot limits their opportunity to shine, and few of the folks Pretorius meets on the way offer interesting diversions. (Dec.)