Fleet of Knives (Embers of War #2), door Gareth L. Powell

The Fleet of Knives is a fleet of super fast and armed to the teeth spaceships, accidentally liberated from cold storage when a flying Red Cross equivalent spaceship provided them with the mission to prevent wars and spare lives.

It seems the Fleet is entertaining some radicle ideas on how to achieve these goals.

This second part of three reintroduces most of the characters from the first book and introduces several new ones. You could read it without having read part one, but where would be the fun in that? People and other entities are given background stories – some better than others. They serve their goal without overdoing it.

Gareth L. Powell is writing space opera in the style of Alastair Reynolds and Iain M. Banks, albeit with his own colour and story. What a relief to finally again read one of the main characters is a carnivore class spaceship named Trouble Dog, and a thousand years old ‘big bastard’ of a spaceship called The Restless Itch for Foreign Soil (‘big’ in this case is ‘as big as a moon’). Distinct and believably weird aliens with their own motives and conflicts. And the occasional external analysis of the human condition: “I think you’re all broken in some fundamental way, but you’re not all broken in the same place. And it’s the ways you each find to work around those breaks that make you who you are.” (-Trouble Dog, on why people are so difficult to manage.)

Keywords are action, a bit of humour, space battles and a sprinkling of interesting aliens.

Can’t wait to get my hands on part three!

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