"Deathstalker Coda is the latest, last, and possibly even the best installment of Simon R. Green's sprawling space opera, a story overflowing with over-the-top action, memorable characters, bizarre twists, unexpected revelations, monumental battles, huge armies, and visceral fight scenes. From the noblest of heroes to the vilest of villains, from the basest of con men to the deadliest of killers, from the most inscrutable of aliens to the nastiest of surprises, this book has it all."--SF Site
More than two centuries ago, angry and grief-stricken after losing Owen Deathstalker, Hazel d'Ark entered the Madness Maze--which fed off her raw emotions and transformed her into The Terror, a force capable of devouring galaxies. To stop her, the recently resurrected Owen must use the powers he gained during his own stay in the Madness Maze--and go back in time to prevent Hazel's transformation.
Now, without Owen to guide him, Lewis Deathstalker has no choice but to assume command of an Imperial fleet loyal to the Deathstalker legacy and lead it to victory over Finn Durandal, the despot who seized the throne. Lewis knows that he has been branded a traitor by the Empire. But when he learns that Finn has executed his entire family, his mission to overthrow his former friend's tyranny is secondary to his desire for revenge...
Bestseller Green's wild conclusion to his Deathstalker saga picks up moments after the cliffhanger ending of Deathstalker Return (2004). Unjustly outlawed Lewis Deathstalker has just brought his ancestor Owen back from the dead to battle the multidimensional, planet-devouring Terror. Meanwhile, Lewis himself tries to assemble and lead a space fleet against the vile minions of usurper Emperor Finn Durandal. In addition, in chapters interrupting Owen's pursuit through time and Lewis's jaunts through space, former Emperor Douglass Campbell must pull himself together to mastermind a rebellion in Finn's capital city. This listing of major plot threads doesn't begin to suggest the full story's feverish complexity. Fortunately, when the stage gets too crowded, the author kills off a few supporting characters, not to mention millions of faceless extras. In some ways, this SF novel resembles mid-grade anime--much better on explosions and mortal combat than characterization; however, it does tie up the series' loose ends coherently. Moreover, even if the major characters are legends, larger and stranger than lifesize, Green's ingenuity and sarcastic prose style keep readers from getting grossed out by the bloodshed or bored by tired space opera theatrics. He knows the action is so far over the top that it almost slips into farce, but he usually manages to keep his balance, arms waving frantically, right on the edge.
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March 06, 2006
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