Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Crucible of Empire by Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth

The Crucible of Empire by Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth

This is the sequel to The Course of Empire. During The Course of Empire, the Jao conquered earth. Partly this was because of human disunity. Now, the Jao have drafted humanity into fighting their ancient enemies the Ekhat. They have adapted both human and Jao technology to create a massive new spaceship the size of an aircraft carrier, the Lexington.

This story is partially about how technology changes when two cultures meet to make something far more deadly than the single culture can produce by itself. The Lexington with its combined kinetic and energy weapon technology, energy shielding and heavy armored plate easily destroys the Ekhat ships.

In The Crucible of Empire, the new human Jao alliance have to rescue a third alien race, the Lleix from the Ekhat. I liked how the different aliens were described with their strengths and weaknesses. The Lleix had a very interesting artistic flair to them. The Jao and the Lleix were described as being very different.

This book does an excellent job of worldbuilding and describing how alien worlds interact. It also does not assume human superiority which is refreshing. Humans are not the center of the universe. I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I hope they add a few more alien cultures to the mix.

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