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Trial by Fire (Caine Riordan) by Charles E. Gannon
Cover Artist: Bob Eggleton
Review by Ernest Lilley
Baen Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476736648
Date: 05 August 2014 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Article /

Caine Riordan is back in the swing of things, and the alien invasion he saw coming in the last book, Fire with Fire, is definitely on. Caught in the first surprise attack on Earth's forces and still alive only by dint of his somewhat inhuman ability to synthesize data and come up with what needs doing, he may be both the Earth's only hope and, though they don't know it yet, the invaders as well. The shortcoming of the book is Gannon's insistence on telling you what's going on two or three times before actually getting on with it. For what should be a straightforward piece of space-war pulp, we could do with a little less talk and a lot more action.

From official release/information:

Product Description: Sequel to Fire with Fire. When reluctant interstellar diplomat and intelligence operative Caine Riordan returns from humanity's first encounter with alien races, sudden war clouds burst. With Earth's fleet shattered by a sneak attack and its survivors fighting for their lives, Caine must rely upon both his first contact and weaponry skills to contend with the non-humanoid enemy. And when the technologically-superior attackers sweep aside the solar system's last defenses, and traitorous corporations invite the invaders to land 'security forces', humanity fights back with its best weapons: cunning, inventiveness, and guts.

But as Earth hurtles towards a final trial by fire that is certain to scar its collective memory, Caine discovers that there may also be large and disturbing gaps in that memory. Clues point to a much earlier inter-species apocalypse, buried in humanity's own prehistory. Which raises a terrifying possibility: what if the aliens' invasion of Earth is not one of conquest, but preemption? And what if their harrowing memories of a long-past cataclysmic war makes them willing to do anything to keep it from reigniting?

Even if that means exterminating the human race.

(Source: Baen)

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