cover image Imperative


Steve White and Charles E. Gannon. Baen, $16 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8119-8

In the military-heavy and ponderous seventh Starfire space opera installment (following 2011's Extremis), yet another threat to the sentient races of the Rim Federation has arrived. Capt. Ossian Wethermere of Naval Intelligence examines some perplexing data regarding courier drones that have been heading back and forth from the Rim Federation to the radical Destoshaz-as-sulhaji, headed by Admiral Amunsit of the Arduans. Then the combined forces of humans, Orions, Ophiuchi, and Gorm are struck by a new wave of destruction that takes out not just starships, but entire planets nearly instantaneously. It soon becomes clear that the Destoshaz-as-sulhaji have been communicating with a new Arduan Dispersate, and this new group of refugees has a very different goal from the first Disperate. White and Gannon love military acronyms, briefings, missile specs, and four-syllable words; unfortunately, none of that makes this book any less pedestrian. (Mar.)