Dark Victory by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole [Amazon link] is in a way a return to normal. However, what that means in this case is not a sense of peace and clear, sunshiny days. The rise and fall of Goth Sullus and the governmental reset forced by the Legion’s invocation of its right to depose the legislature under Article Nineteen have shifted the balance of power, but even events as cataclysmic as these did not alter the nature of the factions that jostle within the galaxy.
Those factions are once again pursuing their own ends using all the resources at their disposal. Plans are in motion, alliances are being made, obstacles are being removed. The fundamental question remains: whom do you serve?
Unfortunately, at Galaxy’s Edge, the true answer to that question, what lies in the hearts of men, is never as simple as the uniform one wears. Because the true fight is not against other men [or even aliens], but against principalities and powers. The stakes are far higher than mere death and destruction. And precisely because the contest is spiritual in nature, the dividing line between good and evil runs through the hearts of men.
However, despite the combat prowess of the characters, almost everyone is unprepared for the fight they find themselves in. Spiritual warfare requires spiritual weapons, but everyone is running around unarmed. Religion is almost never mentioned in Galaxy’s Edge. As a stylistic choice, I find this appropriate. The book that started all this, Legionnaire, is Afghanistan in spaaace. We get things from the grunt’s point of view, and while there may not be atheists in foxholes, the invincible young men that fight our wars for us tend not to be the most devoutly religious.
Thus, when evil does arise, our heroes like Aeson Keel and Arkaddy Nilo must fall back on the tools they have: breaking stuff and killing people. And we get to see a lot of that in Dark Victory. Far be it for me to suggest that the servants of evil should not be opposed with force with required. However, I will suggest that the thing that Aeson Keel cannot do with his blaster is bring about healing and reconciliation.
Violence, being a blunt instrument, cannot wipe away the mourner’s tears or reconcile brothers to one another. In a divided galaxy, there is also a serious risk that those who do seek to serve the true and the good may find themselves at odds with possible allies through deceit or just simple misunderstanding. And since the true history of the galaxy is rife with secrets, many of which we get glimpses of here, the chances of deceit and misunderstanding increase.
The fate of the galaxy likely will depend upon whether men of good will can band together in common cause. The wicked may triumph not only if good men stand by and do nothing, but if also if sufficient discord is sewn to waste their time and energies in fruitless disputes. That is a real challenge for a man who is quick with a gun.
I received a review copy from the authors.
Galaxy’s Edge season 1:
Legionnaire: Galaxy's Edge #1 Book Review
Galactic Outlaws: Galaxy's Edge #2 Book Review
Kill Team: Galaxy's Edge #3 Book Review
Attack of Shadows: Galaxy's Edge #4 Book Review
Sword of the Legion: Galaxy's Edge #5 Book Review
Tin Man: Galaxy's Edge Book Review
Prisoners of Darkness: Galaxy's Edge #6 Book Review
Imperator: Galaxy's Edge Book Review
Turning Point: Galaxy's Edge #7 Book Review
Message for the Dead: Galaxy's Edge #8 Book Review
Retribution: Galaxy’s Edge #9 Book Review
Galaxy’s Edge season 2:
Legacies: Galaxy’s Edge #11 Book Review
Tyrus Rechs: Contracts & Terminations:
Requiem for Medusa: Tyrus Rechs: Contracts & Terminations Book 1 Review
Order of the Centurion
Order of the Centurion #1 Book Review
Iron Wolves: Order of the Centurion #2 Book Review
Stryker’s War: Order of the Centurion #3 Book Review
Through the Nether: Order of the Centurion #4 Book Review
The Reservist: Order of the Centurion #5 Book Review