My 12 in 12 Challenge – June – Series Novels – Book 11

The Last Emperox by John Scalzi is the third in a trilogy of science fiction novels. I had read the other two and was eagerly awaiting this final volume when it was released recently. It did not disappoint.

This series is set a very long time in the future. Man has discovered flows in the space between stars which allow space ships to travel long distances quickly. Some similar sort of device is always needed where space travel is concerned because of the distances and times involved. My previous book for this month Ender in Exile used stasis and dealt with the time differences which result from near to light speed travel in the plot but created a device which allowed communication in real time over long distances. You will remember that Star Trek the TV series used invented dilithium crystals and the film Star Wars allowed for faster than light travel.

The issue in this series is that the flows are starting to fail and it looks like planets that have communicated in the past will now be cut off from one another. The whole of the manned universe is an empire governed by the emperox and all activity is governed by rich, aristocratic families. Obviously these families all wish to hang on to power in a decaying system and are panicking because, with the exception of one planet, none can sustain life without resources from somewhere else. The result is infighting, assassinations, plots, kidnappings and much profanity. It is sort of like Game of Thrones in space but with fewer dragons.

The enjoyment factor for me in these books was that I never knew what was going to happen next. There are lots of surprises along the way and because the writing is so well done you feel like you are being taken on a very enjoyable ride. I was amused, and occasionally moved, and found the whole reading experience to be great fun. This last book finished off the story in a very satisfying way, although the author introduced uncertainty and surprises up to the very end.